Italian finance ministry to propose revamp of online gambling laws

The price of online gambling concessions could rise to 20 times the current average paid.
The price of online gambling concessions could rise to 20 times the current average paid.

The ministry is expected to publish a preliminary decree as it seeks to hike the price of online gambling concessions.

Italy.- The Ministry of Finance is expected to publish a preliminary decree of amendments proposing a review of Italy’s online gambling legislation. It would be the first review since online gambling was regulated in 2011.

The draft decree proposes changes in online gambling concessions and licensing fees plus new measures against illegal gambling. The ministry believes that the price of online gambling concessions has been far too low and is proposing a new model under which concessions would cost €7m, 20 times the average amount paid by operators for their current concessions.

There would be a limit of five licences for each operating firm to prevent the practice of multiple skin websites selling the products of a single concessionaire, something that has been criticised by the regulator, the ADM. The government would be able to add an annual adjustment fee based on 2 per cent of online gross revenues. The decree does not propose tax changes for now

The decree will also recommend the creation of a Public Gambling Council, which would monitor gambling activity and propose safety measures. Government agencies would be tasked with strengthening controls to help tackle illegal gambling. The ministry says the full text of the preliminary decree will be presented to prime minister Giorgia Meloni with the Budget Law for 2024.

Separately from the review of online gambling, Italy is moving forward with the reorganisation of land-based gambling in the country. This includes a greater standardisation of rules across different regions.

Meanwhile, the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) has called for Italy to revise its ban on gambling adverts following reports on black-market activity. The call comes after Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport has reported estimates that Italians place €25bn in bets every year with unlicensed operators. Of the total spend, it was estimated that €18.5bn was spent with unlicensed gambling websites.

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