SBC News Italy settles on €7m licences for online gambling concessions 

Italy settles on €7m licences for online gambling concessions 

The government of Italy has settled on the new framework of licences for online gambling concessions.

A new structure for Italian online gambling concessions was published yesterday by Parliament’s Gazette as an amendment carried forward by the government’s ongoing ‘Reorganisation of Gambling‘ decree.

Recognised as a principal objective of the planned overhaul of Italian gambling laws, the government seeks to settle long-standing legal disputes between the ADM, Italy’s Customs and Monopolies Agency, and licensed operators on the conflicted terms of the renewal of licences.

A government intervention had suspended the ADM from terminating licences that were set to expire in 2023 and 2024.

Reaching a settlement, new online gambling concessions will be authorised by the end of 2024, with licences set to a nine-year limit and priced at €7m. The settlement sees Italian online gambling operators pay a premium of 35 times the previous price for online gambling licences, set at €200,000 since 2018.

The Ministry of Finance (MEF) endorsed the €7m fee, stating that it reflected the changed dynamics of Italian online gambling since 2011 as the market is dominated by the conglomerates of SNAI, Flutter Entertainment, Lottomatica, Entain, and SKS365.

However, online gambling trade body Logico refutes the price hike on online gambling licences as a competition stifling measure, which MEF has applied to satisfy the demands of ADM to halve the number of operators competing in the market.

Furthermore, each licence will be subject to an annual fee of 3% of the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) after taxes.

The terms of the licence state that operators are restricted to ‘operating one app per gambling product and one website per concessionaire, with no affiliated ‘skins’ websites permitted.’

According to AgiproNews, ‘estimates from the Ministry of Economy and Finance detail that at least 50 operators will apply for the concession to renew licences.’

MEF endorsed the government’s framework, stating that it forecasts taxes from gambling income to increase by €350m in the next two years (€200m in 2024 and €150m in 2025). Meanwhile, concession fees alone are expected to generate €100m in new annual revenue.

The framework will apply new technical requirements on gambling licences, as applicants must ensure that platforms have playing limits set by customers and send warning messages when limits are due to be exceeded.

In addition, the ADM will be granted further powers to combat unlicensed online gambling; measures such as payment blocking.

Parliament’s Gazette further announced that the government will imminently launch a tender to operate Italy’s Lotto Euro game.

Managed by IGT until November 2025, Lotto Euro anticipates a €7.7bn annual turnover post-2025 and offers approximately €200m in net annual revenue for nine years.

The government has set a starting bid for the Lotto tender of €1bn, with payment instalments specified for when the tender is awarded and for the following years of its contract.

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