Marcello Minenna, the new Director-General of Italy’s Custom and Monopolies Agency (ADM), has issued his first public statement to licensed gambling incumbents.
Appointed during national lockdown, Minenna takes charge of the agency governing Italian gambling. In his address, Minenna announced that the ADM would imminently move to form a new taskforce with the Carabinieri (federal police) targeting illegal gambling businesses.
“It is clear that there could be a flow of operational moves towards illegal operators,” he said. “Restarting the official network is a must for us, even if it is clear that it will take time for the sector to return to normal.”
Recognised as a key appointment by the Giuseppe Conte government, Minenna has been charged with restructuring the ADM’s oversight of the gambling sector, focusing on eradicating corruption.
2019 saw the ADM come under political criticism following the damning revelations of Italy’s anti-mafia ‘Glassia Investigation’ which seized over + €1 billion in illegal gambling assets and bank accounts to assist money laundering, stolen consumer data, tax evasion and further black-market activities.
Glassia ramifications saw the government order the Italian Treasury to overhaul the ADM’s monitoring of the gambling sector, as parliament stated that the ‘agency’s trademark had been tainted’ by systemic failures leading to Italy’s biggest-ever AML scandal.
Publishing its ‘Fiscal Decree‘ order last October, the newly installed 5Star-DP coalition government-sanctioned new enforcement focusing the ADM on monitoring the financial transactions of licensed operators.
New controls saw the ADM enforce a fiscal registry on all licensed incumbents to monitor player transactions, in addition to it being granted direct powers to freeze all operator bank accounts deemed non-compliant.
Elsewhere, Minenna stated that the ADM would maintain the government’s objective to shrink the marketplace by 2023 by reducing the number of authorised gambling operators for retail and digital disciplines.
With regards to renewing licensing concessions for bingo halls, betting shops and gaming machines, Minenna said that the agency would be led by Parliament’s orders.
He confirmed: “That is Government and Parliament decision. They will make their own assessment on how to restart, renew or extend the different types of gaming concessions that will come into force.”