Last week, the Italian Chamber of Deputies passed the framework for a new tax trusteeship law, marking the approval of a major legislative overhaul. Now, the legislation, which has gone to the Senate, includes an entire section on gambling, a follow-up to previous reforms aimed at setting the stage for a near-comprehensive overhaul of the industry.
At its July 12 session, the House of Representatives approved the draft law passed by the Council of Ministers on March 16 by a vote of 182 to 97. The draft law incorporates changes proposed by the Finance Commission, which completed a review of potential reforms earlier this month.
Within 24 months from the date the law comes into force, the Italian government will be forced to pass legislation to revise the tax system. The amendments will involve gambling reforms, leading to prolonged uncertainty for operators.
Unlucky Number 13
According to Article 13 of the Tax Entrustment Law, the government is obliged to carry out the work of “restructuring the existing public gaming regulations”. This reorganization must ensure a change in the organizational model of public gaming without disrupting the existing system of licensing and licensing.
The legislation also points to the introduction of a new program to combat illegal betting. The department responsible for the economy and finance will be responsible for submitting an annual report to Congress.
Among other measures, our primary focus is to protect minors and prevent illegal gambling. To achieve this goal, our lawmakers will work hard to develop technical and regulatory measures to ensure that people are adequately protected from gambling. They will also develop regulations to prevent gambling addiction and the involvement of minors in gambling.
The list of potential reforms, covering almost everything related to gambling, is exhaustive. The key points we are thinking about are:
- Lower Limits for Betting and Winning Bonuses
- Ongoing training is necessary for both managers and operators.
- Strengthening of the mechanics of self-exclusion games, including the introduction of new national registers.
- For halls and other venues where games are offered, there are certain minimum characteristics that must be met.
- Betting on amateur sports for minors under the age of 18 is prohibited.
Another item on the list creates a lot of uncertainty about future developments. The translated version reads: “Given the investment amortization period, each device needs to be certified and gradually transitioned to devices that only allow gaming using the remote environment to form part of an unalterable gaming system.”
This means that all machines, such as slot machines, may be linked and centrally controlled in the future. The purpose of this measure is currently unclear.
Lost games on land
The Economic and Labor Regional Council of Italy’s Marche region backed an initiative in May to transform brick-and-mortar gambling in the region. One measure in the initiative involves changing the structure of brick-and-mortar gaming establishments, which could introduce some changes in the national framework.
According to the latest royal decree, new game console licenses will not be approved for certain criteria. Specifically, the consoles are not allowed in daycares, schools, and near ATMs, money transfer shops, pawn shops, or hospitals.
For cities or towns with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants, gaming establishments must be at least 200 meters (656 feet) from those locations, using the shortest walking route. If the population exceeds 5,000 people, the distance should be 300 meters (984 feet).
Also, local governments can set periods of up to six hours a day when venues must be closed. The government says their goal is to reduce compulsive gambling and protect property without compromising economic stability.
There have been several lawsuits trying to block the changes, with plaintiffs claiming they violated the Constitution. A recent court decision dealt the final blow to that argument and paved the way for the rules to be enforced.
Last week, Italy’s Council of State rejected a lawsuit over mandatory distancing and reduced working hours, a decision that applies to all administrations in the country. Therefore, even the Italian Supreme Court has no power to intervene in the matter.