News details

ltaly’s new draft gambling law in reality changes very little

Legislator focuses on combating illegal operators

A new law is going to be enacted  (Legge Delega) in the next six to eight months, which will redefine the perimeter of gambling regulation in Italy.

The aim of the law is to sort out public gaming in the country and to harmonise regional and national regulation  that will have to be issued pursuant to the primary interest of public order and safety, as well as balancing the more general interest of protecting vulnerable  people. The provisions are intended to strengthen the fight against operators offering gaming without valid italian authorisation. The regulations and provisions that are going to be enacted have to be pursuant to European  case law, EU Treaty principles and regulations. A draft version of the law was published  recently, but it can still be modified before being examined by the Parliament.

The main parts of the draft law

Article  4 establishes a permanent technical committee  that will evaluate Italian legislation and elaborate on information concerning the dynamics of the gaming industry, as well as the development of new proposals addressed to the Government. Al of the current land based licences will expire on 30 June 2016. The new law provides that the Agenzia delle dogane e dei Monopoli ( ADM) shall issue a new tender for the expiring licences during the coming year. The assigned operators will be authorised to operate online gambling activities, as they are today.

Article 18 of the draft provides the regulations for online operators. When  the ADM issues the new tender, the requirements for participating will be similar to those provided by the previous law. Article  25 of the draft agreement on anticipated expiry introduces a new and interesting aspect: in case of excessive financial burdens  resulting from  unpredictable changes in the target market or in the relevant regulatory framework, the operator may be required  by the ADM to agree to an earlier expiry date for the licence and the consensual resolution  of the license agreement. In this case, the ADM is still required  to verify, according to the licensee, conditions and terms for a possible rebalancing of the licence.

Article 27 of the draft “Amicable settlement agreement” envisages another new aspect:  it provides for an amicable settlement of disputes to be carried out before going to Court, for disputes between the ADM and operators, or players and the ADM. The term for concluding the amicable procedure is fixed at a maximum of 60 days.

Section IX of the draft law is dedicated to marketing. Article 31 provides for a ban on all advertising of brands and/or products relating to gaming, by all kinds of operators offering gaming without a valid Italian authorisation. Article 32 envisages provisions on the limitation of advertising, in order  to comply with the principles of transparency, responsibility and the protection  of minors. Operators will be required  to enter into an agreement  with suppliers who advertise on websites to ensure that the contents are not contrary to human dignity. Other  provisions on marketing remain  the same as are currently in force in Italy.

Chapter  IX, Article 102 lists all the games authorised in Italy, which remain the same as those being offered currently: betting on sport and horseracing events, betting on simulated  events, skill games, games of chance with fixed odds, card games not organised as tournaments, remote fixed-odds betting on sporting and non-sporting events with direct interaction between gamblers, lotteries, bingo and other  bingo formula and gaming machines.

The provisions in force relating to anti-money laundering (“AML”) remain. All operators must comply with these provisions. The Government is paying attention to AML and will look to further strengthen  AML policy. In Italy money laundering is a criminal offence – as per Article 648 bis of the Criminal Code. Gaming operators are required  to comply with specific provisions for the prevention and detection  of money laundering, pursuant to Legislative Decree 231/07. All provisions, recalled by the draft law, will remain in force.


Online gambling in Europe is characterised by a diversity of regulatory frameworks. Italy’s new draft law changes very little. In the new tender of 2016 there could be a dedicated section for online operators, as all of the so-called Bersani Licences expire. Such as it is the draft does not introduce any special restrictions or new commitments for online operators. It seems that the Legislator has focused its attention on land based operators and on the fight against illegal operators running gaming businesses in Italy without a licence. It should however be remembered that the draft can still be amended and modified before being issued, but it is certainly indicative of where the Legislator’s attention is currently focused in regards to gambling.