SBC News Italy: ADM submits new gambling concessions framework for final review

Italy: ADM submits new gambling concessions framework for final review

Italy sees progress on the ‘reorganisation of gambling’, as ADM, the Customs and Monopolies Agency, enters the final legislative procedures to launch a new framework for online gambling concessions.

On Friday, ADM filed the documentation of its new framework for online gambling concessions with the Treasury, which, alongside the Council of State, will provide a ‘binding opinion’ on ADM’s proposals.

Following its final determination, the framework will be merged as a regulatory measure of the Reorganisation of Gambling’ decree to overhaul Italy’s online and land-based gambling laws.

Prior to its adoption, technical rules of the framework will be submitted by the Ministry of Made in Italy (formerly the Ministry of Enterprise) to the European Commission for its competitive evaluation. The final procedure is expected to require a three-month ‘stand still period’ before adoption in Italy.

Sanctioned by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (MEF), Italy’s new licensing framework will charge a €7m fee for online gambling concessions lasting a period of nine years.

The €7m fee reflects a 35x increase on existing concessions that were granted in 2018 for €200,000. The hefty fee increase was endorsed by MEF as an appropriate measure for a market dominated by the gambling Plcs of SNAI (Playtech), Flutter Entertainment, Lottomatica, and Entain.

The terms of the concessions have been modified by the ADM to eliminate the use of skin gambling websites, as operators can only operate one brand per licence.

As detailed by Agipronews, technical provisions ensure that licences are restricted to “one concessionaire, one website”, with the ADM requiring operators to “activate an app for each type of product category: betting, casino, poker, and bingo.”

New concessions will be held to tighter scrutiny on IT securities and the integration of games and systems between operators and suppliers. Licensees must ensure that games and IT systems have been verified by an external certification body once the decree is in force.

Further changes will see the ADM granted ‘enhanced controls’ to monitor player funds and their management by licensees.

Entering final procedures, the ADM aims to establish a D-day to launch the new licensing regime, as expressed by Antonio Giuliani, Head of ADM’s online office: “The Agency will set a D-day for the current operators to start collecting bets with the new regime.”

“The others will have up to six months to launch the system, as established by the law. We will guarantee equal conditions for current licensees and new operators who will obtain the licence.”

Should a new framework be launched in 2024, ADM will complete an initial objective of the Reorganisation of Gambling decree, to resolve long-standing legal disputes related to the terms of Italian gambling concessions granted since 2011.

The Reorganisation Decree sees Italian gambling undertake its first regulatory evaluation since the authorisation of online gambling in 2011. The decree aims to protect players (especially minors), combat criminal activities, and increase tax revenue for government projects and social initiatives.

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