Italian gaming left in suspense

italy

The Italian online gaming market has grown exponentially in 2016.

Italian citizens voted “no” on a referendum that leaves the country’s industry hanging in the air.

Italy.- Italians have voted “no” in a referendum on constitutional reform, which forced the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to resign. Renzi has promised multiple times that he would dismantle the Italian gambling machine industry, to the point where insiders predicted that one third of Italy’s gaming machines would be destroyed.

Director of Gioconews, Alessia Crisantemi, said that no one knows what will happen, and that this is a “here we go again” case for the gaming industry in Italy. “Just when a reform of the industry appeared to be close, or at least a reorganisation of the industry, the discussions may have to begin again. For many, it will be a sigh of relief as the government had announced a plan at the Conferenza Unifacata, (the constitutional body dealing with reforms which concern the regions and municipalities), to hit the industry.”

Analysts say that the country needs to go through reorganisation and set new rules in order to protect players and local authorities. Crisantemi believes that if the Renzi government had prepared the amendments to present them in the Senate then it could still be continued after an agreement with local authorities. A senator from the Democratic Party, Franco Mirabelli, said: “It’s too early to make predictions of what will happen to Italian gaming. But I believe that the Conferenza Unificata will continue to work on the matter and amendments will be presented. We still anticipate the planned reduction of 30 per cent in the number of AWPs in 2017.”

Earlier this year, Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi announced that her anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) presented a motion to ban slot machines and other gambling activities from the capital. The resolution wants to regulate gambling activities outside Rome, and the draft provision says that slot machines can’t be located within a 500m radius of sensitive sites. On the other hand, Italian shopkeepers reported anti-gambling mayors to Italy’s Court of Audit because they claim that the measurements are too restrictive and they’re costing them billions and loss of revenue.