This is the hope of Lawyer Stefano Sbordoni, as an expert in the sector in view of the next budget law for 2024, to put an end once and for all to various disputes.
With the next budget law for 2024, the Government seems to intend, according to increasingly credible rumours, to put out a tender for 100 online gaming concessions, the expiry of which has been extended by the 2023 Budget until 31 December 2024, for the cost of 8-10 million euros per license, with the aim of raising one billion. The lawyer Stefano Sbordoni, a well-known expert in the sector, on the sidelines of a conference on the topic, wanted to highlight first of all that, at least for the moment, these are only rumours, and that there is not yet an institutional document, as "the hypothesis relating to an auction starting price of 10 million for each license seems to me to be a little unbalanced for many reasons: first of all, there is the risk of thinking that we can count on revenues that will never arrive; secondly, these would be figures that would force the operators to particular behaviors, also considering the current ban on gambling advertising, and in any case it is not certain that such large sums can be recovered easily". This is why, according to the well-known lawyer, "counting on a revenue of this type seems a bit risky to me, because it could hardly be recovered in the short term, therefore with these numbers the concessions would have to have a very long duration, to make this expense more sustainable". Lawyer Sbordoni, therefore, proposes to recover the sums expected to cover part of the budget maneuver attributable to gambling in other ways: "We can also try to reorganize the illegal market, and to proactively resolve the old disputes, relating for example to horse racing awards, to the 500 million tax, to the additional levy of 0.5% on sports betting. Resolving these issues would bring some savings to the State regarding the costs of litigation." Sbordoni underlines, in this regard, the importance of the reorganization initiated through the enabling law for tax reform and the need to consider online gaming as a reality now well known by everyone “which must be taken for what it is”. "It must therefore be evaluated whether it is possible", he continues, "to have a single competition for online and land-based gaming, given that they are now communicating vessels and that, consequently, by neglecting one in favor of the other we expose ourselves to so many risks." "The logic of the State is primary and must certainly be respected, as long as they in turn do not risk creating holes, as has already happened in the past. I am sure that the Government, always attentive to certain aspects, will think about it. In structuring the decision-making chains It seems to me that the sector is paying some attention, and this seems to me to be a good sign. It would be important not to make it vain for needs of which we are absolutely aware, which should not be denied but which must not ruin the good that seems to be in place". Finally Lawyer Sbordoni, also in his capacity as general secretary of the Utis/Italian sports totoricevitori union, concludes by recalling that the Utis for its part has a ready proposal for the regulation of PVRs/Top-up sales points "for the recognition of merchants and therefore the consequent arrangement of the connection between physical and online".