Italian Gaming Regulator Approves 66 iGaming Operators
The Agenzia delle Dogane e dei monopoli (ADM), which is the gambling regulator in Italy has finally released its list of approved iGaming operators who will be permitted to operate their online gambling services in the local market. The said licenses are set to expire on December 31, 2022.
Several of the approved iGaming operators include subsidiaries of major international operators such as The Stars Group, bet365, and GVC Holdings. It also includes local operator Lottomatica. There was a total of 66 licenses granted.
There were four other operators who were also approved but their approvals were attached with reservations by ADM. These four operators are Universal Solutions SRL, Sogno di Tolosa, Scommetendo SRL and Spati SRL. As to the reason for the reservations, that’s been kept confidential for now as the ADM has confirmed that it will communicate the reason to these operators directly.
There were also iGaming operators who were not granted a license or withdrew their application to participate in the online gambling market in Italy. Some of these companies include Piper Limited, Lottomatrix Operations Limited, Betclic Limited, and Rabbit Entertainment Limited. Rabbit Entertainment is said to be the owner of Lord Lucky Casino and Lapalingo.
Approvals Long Overdue
Gaming operators were expecting the licensing process to start in the fall of 2017. However, there were multiple delays attributed to different factors over the course of the delay. It was only in January 2018 that the ADM launched the application process and started accepting applications from potential operators.
Officials were expecting a lot of applicants which prompted them to have a cap of 120 operators. Unfortunately, the ADM only received 80 applications. With the €200,000 license fee, Italy was expecting to receive €24 million from its licensing process. Due to the low turnout, the gambling watchdog will only receive €13.2 million from the 66 concessions granted.
Advertising Ban Might Have Discouraged Operators
Italy recently banned all gambling advertisements which might have discouraged some operators. This ban on gambling adverts may prove to be fatal to the industry considering how it is now being regulated.
A quick Google search for the keywords “online casino” in Italy would yield to a first-page result of three unlicensed online gaming operators based in Germany, Israel, and Curacao.
The ban works in favour of unlicensed operators and limits the reach of licensed operators.