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2023 Budget Law, extension of ADM concessions for remote gaming, AWP and VLT, betting and bingo

In the Budget Law approved yesterday (29.12.2022) by Parliament, concerning the budget of the State for the year 2023 and the multi-year financial one 2023-2025 (Law no. 197/2022), it was reintroduced, thanks to an amendment of the Government, the extension until 31 December 2024 for ADM concessions on remote gaming, hall bingo, telematic management of games using amusement and entertainment machines (the so-called AWP and VLT) and collection at shops and corners sports and horse racing bets, including bets on virtual events. Furthermore, the same law, in article 1 paragraphs 123-125, provides for an increase due by the concessionaires for maintaining the concessions in 2023 and 2024 equal to 15% compared to the current one in proportion to the duration of the extension and the deadlines for payments of the related fees differentiated by year and by type of concession. Furthermore, the concession fee must be paid in two installments of equal amount due respectively on 15 July and 1 October of the year 2023 and, for the amount due in 2024, in two installments of equal amount by 15 January and on June 1 of that year. Exceptions are sports and horse racing bets for which a single payment is required by 15 July 2024. Finally, with a Resolution by the Director of the Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM)  the obligations for concessionaires to present adequate economic guarantees proportionate to the new definition of the time limits of the aforementioned extensions. At the moment, it has been requested to adjust the bank sureties covering the obligations of the concession until 31 December 2023, but it is probable that, following this further extension, a further resolution may be published. In addition, ADM will most likely issue a circular with more detailed instructions on how to pay and that a tax code will be issued to make payments due as a result of the extensions. Among the reasons for the extension of the gaming concessions, the need to have the time to carry out an effective and adequate reorganization of the sector emerged, as requested by the organizations that are part of it. Furthermore, the extension is aimed at guaranteeing the investments to be paid by the concessionaires to ensure public health and the technological innovation of the collection tools. Among other things, the Government estimates that the extension of the concessions could result in higher revenues of 176 million euros. From the point of view of the concessionaires, this further extension represents good news because, following a payment in line with what has already been paid previously, they see their concession extended for another two years while waiting for the rules of the concession system to be clarified and for distorting rules such as those on the prohibition of advertising find a regulatory framework that better balances the needs of freedom of enterprise with the protection of individuals.