What To Expect From the New Gambling Law in Italy?

During the global COVID-19 pandemic the need to reform Italy’s gambling law became more evident than ever. Multiple news articles on the legal sector report that the Italian legislators have already drawn up the framework for the new regulations.

The question is whether the new law will be effective and how it will change the industy.

Freni: “The goal is to take industry out of uncertainty limbo”

Federico Freni, professor of administrative law, has shed the light on the upcoming reform in Italian gambling law. Freni was speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) at the panel “The reconstruction of public gaming” during the first day of SBC Digital Italia event.

According to the lawyer, gaming is the central industry in Italy’s legal system, so its future must be protected and regulated. Since 2016 the gambling law was amended annually, which made the industry unstable and ununified. Freni states that MIF’s goal is to get the sector out of this limbo of uncertainty by reorganizing the system. The new legislation is going to create a jurisdiction that is regulated, consistent, homogenous, and is up to date.

Freni has also noted that the effective regulation must be future-oriented and work within the legislative system not against it.  The expert has also highlighted MIF’s extensive collaboration with the Customs and Monopoly Agency that has contributed to the drafting of a new law.

When answering the question about the timelines for the new law, Freni said that the Ministry plans to present the draft bill to the Parliament during an annual budget review in October-November 2021. The authority hopes to implement the law by the end of 2022. Before launching the preliminary law MIF plans to hold an assembly meeting with operators and stakeholders to collect their opinions on the regulation.

The public, however, has a distorted view of the gaming sector due to many concerns, like problem gambling and illegal operators. MIF, according to Freni, acknowledges these problems and plans to address them in the upcoming regulation. Although both issues must be eradicated, the expert states that more than 90% of the gaming market is healthy and shouldn’t be eliminated for this. The expert has also disclosed that the preliminary law will unify the gambling regulations across the country, as many operators find it hard to work with 21 different jurisdictions within one state.

The lawyer has also touched upon the relationship between gambling operators and banks in the country, saying that it is a topic MIF pays attention to. However, in the current state of events, the best answer it to reorganize the system. Ministry hopes that the new regulations will change the banks’ attitude towards the gambling sector in a positive way.

Concessions will be extended until the end of March 2022

Federico Freni has also spoken on the extension of concessions and gaming licenses, stating that they are closely related to the gaming law reform. That’s why all the licenses and concessions will be in force until March 29, 2022. New guidelines will be created in line with the new regulations.

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