Italian Gambling reawakens to a transformed landscape

Italy’s bookmakers and gambling venues have begun to reopen their businesses following more than a year observing the government’s strict lockdown orders enforced across all regions.

Approved by Italian Health Minister, Roberto Speranza, from 31 May, 2000 gambling venues (bookmakers, arcades and bingo halls) were allowed to reopen across the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Molise, and Sardinia.

Further reopening orders were swiftly granted to gambling venues operating in the regions of Abruzzo, Umbria, Veneto, and Liguria from Monday 7 June.

The Italian government continues to enforce the tightest controls on the reopening of gambling venues in designated ‘white areas’ – regions where the contagion ratio remains at around ‘50 ill per 100,000’ habitants.

No curfew restrictions have been imposed on the gambling venues that are reopening, in which staff and patrons must observe general social distancing and hygiene orders (handwash and facemasks).

As the infection rate continues to drop across Italy, 14 June has been marked as a key date for Italian gambling, as its venues will be allowed to reopen in the populous regions of Lazio (Rome) Lombardia (Milan), Emilia Romagna (Bologna) Piemonte (Turin) and the province of Trento.

It is hoped that by the end of June all Italian gambling venues will have been granted their reopening orders across all regions.

2020 was marked as Italian gambling’s darkest year, as the preliminary results of regulatory agency ADM’s registered a 33% decline in GGR to €13.9 billion, whilst industry tax revenues dropped by 33% to €7.2 billion.  

Italian gambling reawakens to a transformed business landscape, as Blackstone-owned Gamenet Group becomes the marketplace’s biggest incumbent following its takeover of Lottomatica’s B2C sportsbook and gambling hall assets.

The transformative deal saw Gamenet expand its retail franchise network of 3,000 betting points, 1,400 gaming halls, 13,600 tobacconist/bar gaming machines and 120 gaming venues – which will be operated under a new Lottomatica brand.

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