Italy seeks to shrink its online gambling field by 2023

Tightening control of Italy’s online gambling marketplace, the 5Star-DP coalition government seeks to reduce the number of incumbents participating in the market by 2023.

Attached to 5Star-DP’s first Budget Law decree, the coalition government seeks to reduce the total number of Italian online gambling licences to 50, from its current 85 concessions.

The proposed revision has been communicated by Italy’s ADM customs and monopolies agency, the government department which maintains regulatory oversight of the gambling industry.

The ADM has been tasked with leading a new 2023 licensing framework for online gambling incumbents, who will be charged €2 million for acquiring or renewing their digital concessions.

A new online licensing framework forms part of the coalition government’s planned ‘sweeping reform’ of Italy’s gambling marketplace, in which retail concessions will be limited to 250,000 slot machines, 58,000 video-lottery terminals, 35,000 bars and tobacconists and 2800 gaming halls.

In its update, the ADM details that 2023 online gambling licences will be granted to limited tenders for a period of nine years.

The desired changes follow the coalition government’s confirmation that industry taxes would be increased on VLT and AWP machines, as 5Star-DP Budget Law seeks to squeeze a further €600 million in taxes from Italy’s gambling sector.

In addition to increased tax charges, Italy’s new coalition will enforce a new mandatory registry controlled by the ADM, which will monitor all gambling-related transactions and financial exchanges, as the government seeks to strengthen the ADM’s AML controls.

New ADM powers will allow the customs department to prohibit national banks from processing payments for gambling companies without an Italian licence – with the agency allowed to sanction fines ranging from €300,000 to €1.3 million for banking institutions that do not comply.

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