20.12.2023

by Mateusz Mazur

Italy’s Online Gambling Legislation Overhaul Raises Industry Concerns

In a recent development, Italian legislators and lobbyists are working on rewriting online gambling legislation, triggering alarm within the gaming industry.

italy

Industry players fear that these new policies could lead to a significant departure from the regulated segment, potentially harming the industry’s stability.

Industry Unites in Concern at Italian Legislative Meeting

Last week, representatives from over 10 gaming industry trade groups convened in a meeting with Italian lawmakers, organized by the Milton Friedman Italian Political-Economic Institute.

This gathering was a united front to express grave concerns about the proposed changes in gambling legislation.

The group warned that the proposed amendments, including a drastic 35% increase in license costs, could lead to heightened illegal activities, compromised consumer protection, and obstacles for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The proposed hike in the cost of an online gambling license from €200,000 to €7 million (US$218,600 to $7.65 million) is a particular point of contention, viewed as excessive and potentially damaging to the industry’s diversity and competitiveness.

A Call for a Unified Gambling Policy

There’s an ongoing effort in Italy to create a unified policy covering both land-based and online gaming. However, the industry highlights a lack of parity in the recent proposals. The central theme “Gambling: One Market, One Reorganization” underscores the need for a harmonized regulatory approach to both online and land-based gambling sectors.

The industry representatives also stressed that the proposed reforms could negatively impact public interest objectives, including consumer protection and responsible gambling initiatives. They emphasized that addressing online gambling reorganization without considering the land-based sector could lead to loopholes and a rise in illegal operations.

The gaming industry’s unified stance underscores the necessity for a more inclusive, comprehensive strategy in reforming gambling regulations. The industry calls for the Italian government to consider the interests of both operators and consumers, advocating for a stable and viable market that upholds responsible gambling practices.

Our Comment on the Article

The ongoing legislative changes in Italy’s online gambling sector present a critical juncture for the industry. The unified opposition from trade groups highlights the need for balanced and inclusive policymaking that considers the sector’s complexity.

The Italian government must approach this reform with a holistic view, acknowledging the potential risks and focusing on maintaining a responsible, regulated, and equitable gambling environment.

This approach will not only safeguard the industry’s integrity but also ensure the protection and welfare of consumers and stakeholders alike.

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