The Italian government has announced further restrictions on the domestic gambling market.
The 5Star-DP coalition administration has indicated that it wants to cut the number of gambling operators in the market by 2023.
The government has attached a measure to its Budget Decree that would see the number of betting licenses in the Italian market cut from the current 85 to just 50.
News of the potential change to the sector was released by the Italian customers and monopolies agency, the ADM, which has responsibility for overseeing the betting industry.
The ADM has been given the job of drawing up a new licensing framework for 2023 that would include the imposition of a €2 million licence fee that would apply both to new applicants and to incumbents who want to continue their presence in the Italian market.
The plans to reform the licensing framework are part of the coalition government’s widespread reforms of the gambling sector. They have already announced that there would be cuts in the number of gaming halls, video lottery terminals and slot machines throughout the country. Taxes on the industry are also set to be increased as the government aims to raise an additional €600 million from the sector. There will also be a new mandatory registry for all gambling operators and the ADM will be given additional powers to enforce regulations across a range of areas. These powers include the ability to levy fines of up to €1.3 million on financial firms that provide payment facilities to betting operators that do not have a valid Italian licence.
In its update to the market, the ADM says that licenses under the new framework would be valid for nine years. It is not yet clear what effect this will have on companies currently operating in the Italian market, but the changes are unlikely to be welcomed by the industry.