Following the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Italian politics and business leaders recognised the country’s need for genuine reforms to address Italy’s stifling bureaucracy and chaotic frameworks denting the nation’s competitiveness.
What is it?
Taken from this week’s SBC Digital Italy conference and exhibition, the ‘Regulation – getting ahead of the curve’ session looked at what changes the new Italian government will make towards gambling regulation.
The session discusses how operators can reach the Italian market with the current advertising restrictions in place and debates how attractive the gambling environment is for foreign operators.
The panel asks that, with Italy facing drastic changes, what new civic responsibilities are bookmakers willing to undertake to operate their businesses responsibly? Can Italian betting leadership amend its political disputes with the government, following years of successive conflicts leading to dire outcomes?
Who is it?
Ludovico Calvi, President, GLMS
Tal Itzhak Ron, CEO, Tal Ron, Drihem & Co. Law Firm
Quirino Mancini, Partner, Tonucci & Partners
Marco Castaldo, Director (Betting and Online Gaming), ASTRO
Ekaterina Hartmann, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, European Gaming & Betting Association
Scott Longley, CEO, Clear Concise Media
What is being said?
Calvi: “What we have seen unfortunately is a growth of the black market. This is not coming from operators, as all over Europe everyone is complaining that restrictions are impacting the retail network but also giving offshore and in particular non-licensed bookmakers to gain market share.
“This in Italy has been declared by the Director General of The Italian Gaming Authority who, at the beginning of the year, declared legal gaming in Italy declined by 25-30 per cent in 2020, against the increase in revenues of course coming from the illegal gaming activities.
“This is due to the closure of gaming locations due to the lockdown measures but also to the fact that there has been a growing opportunity for in the digital space we know that the WHO has said that we shouldn’t be using cash because cash is a vehicle to spread the virus. We have seen people increasing digital transactions worldwide anyway.
“What the regulators in Italy are saying is that we need to act because we cannot leave in the hands of criminal organisations this phenomenon which has been growing, we have seen growing in the past 12 months. In fact, the community for the prevention and oppression of illegal gaming has monitored illegal gambling activities all over the peninsula and has imposed fines, has closed sites, has closed illegal betting outlets and so on.
“We have also seen the intention by the Italian Gaming Authority to review the current gaming legislation which would touch both the retail and digital gaming licences with the objective of modernising the regulatory framework, of course fighting the increasing illegal market but also just trying to restore confidence following the effect of the pandemic.”
Why should I watch it?
To learn more about how the pandemic has affected the gambling space inside of Italy, how the rise in black market operators has affected the country and what changes the new Italian government will make towards gambling regulation.