Gambling companies operating in the Italian market are bracing themselves for new challenges in 2020 after the country’s 5Star-DP coalition government announced new gambling industry proposals.
Earlier this year, the former governing coalition introduced a ban on all gambling advertising, and the new government, which was formed last month after a period of instability in Italian politics, appears to be taking an equally tough line on gambling regulation.
This approach has in part been driven by the results of the Italian Police’s Glassia investigation, which exposed links between organised crime and some licensed and unlicensed gambling operators, and which led to widespread anger and calls for reform from political and media figures.
According to the new announcements, which represent additions to the Budget Law that was first announced at the end of last year, new payment processing laws will be introduced in 2020, alongside an anti-money laundering registry for operators.
The new provisions will include the prohibition of all transactions involving unlicensed gambling companies imposed on all Italian banks, and the new rules will be backed up by a scale of fines for financial organisations found to be in breach, which could rise to €1.3 million. All licensed gambling operators will also be required to sign up to a registry run by the Customs & Monopolies Agency, which has been charged by the government with improving oversight of the gambling sector.
And the potential reforms don’t end there. Italian news outlets are reporting that the government is considering restricting the involvement of private equity funds in owning and investing in gambling companies, as well as extending gambling and bingo concessions for land-based outlets. For the time being at least, it seems that Italy-facing operators will be facing a more difficult regulatory environment as the government seeks to allay public concerns about the state of the industry.
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