Benvenuto Freni… New Treasury appointment backs Italian gambling reforms   

A positive political outcome has dawned on Italian gambling as Federico Freni has been appointed the successor of Claudio Durigon as Undersecretary of Italy’s Economic Treasury. 

Durigon, who had lobbied for gambling amendments to be reviewed as a measure of Italy’s next Budget Law, was forced to resign last month following controversial statements made in support of the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini.

The Lega Party put forward the nomination of Freni as Durigon’s successor, an appointment that was confirmed by President Sergio Mattarella in his weekly sign-off of Italy’s official state gazette.

Joining the Treasury as a senior policy advisor, Freni has been supportive of his predecessor’s mandate to “reorganise Italian gambling”.

Speaking at SBC Italia Digital Conference last July, the Rome BAR lawyer stated – “We want to create an updated, stable, and uniformed framework of gambling regulations. This is the only way to get the industry out of its uncertain limbo.”

Though recognised as a positive appointment, it remains uncertain whether Economic Minister Daniele Franco will assign Freni as the Treasury’s official delegate to oversee gambling reforms.

In his address to SBC delegates, Freni stated that he would recommend the Treasury focus on amending the gambling sector’s convoluted tax regime and eliminating Italy’s black-market exposure.

The make-up of Italy’s 2022 Budget Law has been deemed a critical matter for Italian gambling, as incumbents await for the government’s judgement on the extension of betting shop, gaming machine and online gambling concessions.

Despite backlash and growing calls to reform the gambling sector outright, Italy’s Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) maintains its pledge that it will reduce the ‘field size’ of Italian online gambling by 50% to 40 licences by 2023.

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