EGBA: Gambling offers in Italy will fill the black market

The Italian authorities are currently in the process of reviewing the country's gambling laws, which will reduce the number of licenses and increase license fees.

According to the proposals, the number of online gambling licenses will fall from 120 to 40, and fees will rise to at least 2.5 million euros - 10 times more than the current figure - by 2023.

The reduction in online gambling licenses was originally proposed by the former 5Star-DP coalition government as a draft measure attached to the 2020 Italian Budget Law.

In a video posted on the YouTube channel European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA), General Secretary EGBA Maarten Hayer expressed concerns about these proposals and urged the Italian authorities to contact the European Commission.

“Italian authorities must notify the European Commission of the proposal because it is required by law – all member states, and Italy too,” he said. “This allows the proposal to be scrutinized in accordance with European law, if Italy does not notify the law, it will not apply against operators and therefore cannot work.

“Our fears are that, firstly, the number of licenses will be significantly reduced from 100 times to 14 licenses, and secondly, the cost of these licenses will increase 10 times more than it is now, and now we really do not see an excuse. for this change or do justice. We think this may well be counterproductive for the purposes of legislation, including consumer protection.”

In addition, Haijer drew attention to the potential risks associated with the Italian black market, which has been repeatedly expressed by leading experts in the field of betting and gambling in the country.

Speaking at the SBC Digital Italy conference in February, Ludovico Calvi , the president Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS), noted that legal gambling in Italy decreased by 25-30% in 2020, while illegal gaming revenues increased.

Hyer added: “We think this will only increase the black market, which is already a problem in Italy, and it will increase the size of the black market. Unregulated websites don't have to pay these costs so they will be much more attractive to Italian consumers who will go there and be able to win more money and there is no real consumer protection in an unregulated market so it will be really negative. for consumer protection in Italy".

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