Italy’s ADM – Customs and Monopolies Agency – has announced that it will launch a new app to inform the general public of all necessary information related to licensed gambling operators (retail and digital).
Titled ‘Gioco Sicuro’ (Safe Play), the app will be launched this November on IOS and Android stores.
The ADM has disclosed that the app will “allow Italian citizens to check the compliance of all dedicated and non-dedicated outlets, as well as the licensing of any gaming product”.
The apps development was authorised by ADM Director-General Marcello Minenna, aiming to protect Italian gambling consumers against the threat of Mafia-run gambling networks.
Actions to combat the black market have been a priority of Minenna, who took charge of a ‘tainted agency’ in 2019 following the fallout of federal police and anti-Mafia unit’s ‘Glassia Investigation‘ which uncovered over €1 billion in seized assets related to illegal gambling activities.
Appointed by former President Giuseppe Conte, Minenna was charged with the hard-line mandate to reform the ADM’s oversight of the gambling sector, focusing on eradicating corruption.
National anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho estimated that “a €20 billon black market turnover is probably an underestimation”.
“There is a widespread network run by criminals and this indicator worries us enormously, as it demonstrates the mafia’s extraordinary infiltration skills,” he said.
Despite visible threats, the Italian government has continued its restrictive approach to governing the nation’s licensed operators, who are required to obey a near blanket ban on all forms of advertising and stringent compliance procedures on player verifications.
As the end of the year approaches, Italian gambling stakeholders are waiting to see whether the government will commit to adding gambling amendments as a guaranteed measure of the 2022 Budget Law.
The make-up of this legislation is deemed a critical matter for Italian gambling, particularly with reference to the government’s judgement on the extension of concessions for gaming machines, online gambling and betting shops, with the latter granted a final extension until 31 March 2022.
The ADM is required to review the concessions of 10,000 retail venues/outlets, primarily impacting the franchisees of Snaitech, Lottomatica, Sisal, SKS365 and Eurobet.