Italy Plans To Reform Online Gambling Laws in 2024
Italy will reform its current online gambling laws, now that the government has approved the reorganisation decree proposed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. By reforming the law, Italy aims to better protect players, combat criminal activity, and increase tax revenues. As a consequence, the cost of a permit will become a lot more expensive with the new legislation. The laws are planned to be introduced this year, in 2024.
In July 2023, a large majority of the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour of the new bills. A few months later, the government also agreed to reform Italy’s online gambling laws. This year the sweeping reform is expected to be fully adopted.
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The reform of the online gambling legislation is meant to provide better protection for players, especially minors. The revised gambling law should also better combat criminal activities such as money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In addition, more money is expected to flow to the country’s treasury through taxes. One of the most drastic changes that the revision of the online gambling law will bring is the cost of a licence.
Gambling companies that want to obtain a licence in Italy will have to pay €7 million (NZ$ 12,27 million) per licence. In total, a gambling company may apply for a maximum of 5 licences. The permit holders must also pay an operating fee of 3%. In addition to these costs, licensed online gaming providers are required to hand over 0.2% of the winnings. This percentage of the profit will be used for campaigns that promote responsible gambling.
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Illegal Gambling Market in Italy Worth Billions
The update of the online gambling law in Italy comes 13 years after its last update in 2011. An article by the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport shows that the illegal gambling market in Italy represents a billion dollar industry. In total, the annual turnover of online gambling in Italy stands at €25 billion (NZ$ 43,81 billion) of which 75% (€18.5 billion, NZ$ 32,41b) was generated by illegal online gambling companies. When the new gambling law comes through, the country’s gambling authority will have more ways to combat non-licenced websites.
In order to prevent illegal online offerings, websites that offer gambling products without a licence can be blocked. Payments to and from illegal gambling sites can also be frozen when gambling related transactions are detected. The government expects an increase of €350m (NZ$ 613m) in the next two years, whilst the concession fee will bring in new annual revenues of €100 million (NZ$ 175m). Over €6m (NZ$ 10,52m) per year will run to the country’s treasury department as a result of the registration fees paid by licensees.
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