News details

Reorganization of the gaming sector: ok of the Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers has definitively approved the draft legislative decree for the reorganization of online gaming provided for by the enabling law for tax reform.

Approved last March 2nd and published in the Official Gazette of 04.03.2024 general series n.78 Legislative Decree n. 41/2024 containing "provisions regarding the reorganization of the gaming sector starting from remote gaming" in implementation of the Delegation to the Government for the Tax Reform (article 15 of Law no. 111/2023). The provision aims to reorganize and update the legislation regarding public games, i.e. those remote and non-remote games that offer cash winnings. This reform, aimed at improving control and ensuring greater safety in the sector, introduces new rules and principles that all operators in the sector will have to follow. The Decree is divided into six main titles, which range from general rules and principles, to the concession relationship for remote gaming, to the protection and protection of the player, to the management of remote gaming, to the fight against illegal gaming offers, up to to final provisions that include transitional aspects. More generally, the aforementioned Decree reiterates that the management, operation and collection of public games will be entrusted to licensees, selected through a public tender, who will have to comply with strict requirements of experience, reliability and technical ability and, however, for to operate in Italy, will have to pay three significantly increased FEES: a 'one-off fee' which goes from the previous 250 thousand euros to 7 million euros (2,800% more); an 'annual fee' equal to 3% of the net revenues of each concessionaire (double compared to the past); an 'annual fee' equal to 0.2% of the dealers' net revenues for information and communication campaigns to combat gambling addiction. The renewal of the LOTTO tender is also arranged (in 2025), moving from an auction base of 700 million to one billion euros. Furthermore, there is a definitive end to the use of CASH for online games: anyone who wants to top up more than 100 euros in cash, in fact, "will necessarily have to use traceable and secure electronic payment instruments". The protection of minors and the fight against pathological gambling are then reiterated, with the introduction of specific measures to prevent problematic gambling behaviour. The Decree also introduces important innovations to promote "RESPONSIBLE GAMING" and protect the most vulnerable players. Among these, the following stand out: a) the possibility for players to set limits on spending, time spent playing and loss of money, as well as self-exclusion systems for those who feel they have a gambling problem; b) Investments in information campaigns: licensees will be required to invest a portion of their revenues in information campaigns and responsible communication initiatives, to raise public awareness of the risks associated with gambling and promote responsible gaming behaviour;  c) limitations based on gaming behavior: there are limitations on the amounts deposited on individual gaming accounts, based on the player's age and gaming behavior in order to customize protection measures based on the specific needs of each player; d) automatic warning messages: during gaming sessions, automatic messages will be sent informing the player about the duration of the session and spending levels, especially if certain preset limits are exceeded; e) information on problem gambling and support: gaming sites must include informative content on problem gambling, prevention methods and support resources available for those who need them; f) self-exclusion tools: it will be possible for players to exclude themselves from the game, both temporarily and for certain product categories, through simple online procedures; g) monitoring and control: the concessionaire will be equipped with advanced tools to monitor the levels of risk associated with individual games and control the degree of participation in the game of the players most exposed to the risk of pathological gambling. To ensure compliance with the new rules, the Decree provides for a control system and sanctions for those who do not comply, as well as promoting the traceability of financial flows to prevent money laundering or illicit financing. As regards AI, its use is envisaged to improve the identification of sites to which access should be inhibited, as they do not have concessions to offer remote gaming and are therefore illegal. In fact, in Article 22 (Contrast to the offer of remote gaming in the absence of concession) paragraph 1 it is provided that "The Regulation establishes the methods for the exclusion of the offer of gaming with cash winnings through telematic or telecommunications carried out by subjects without a licence, as well as, in agreement with the Bank of Italy, the methods for preventing payment service providers from managing operations for the collection and payment of sums relating to gaming operations, in favor or on behalf of subjects without the aforementioned concession", while in paragraph 2 that "the regulation referred to in paragraph 1 also provides for IT measures, also involving the use of artificial intelligence solutions, which the Agency, in agreement with the Police Finance and making use of the company referred to in article 83 paragraph 15 of legislative decree n. 112/2008, converted, with amendments, by Law n. 133/2008, aimed at identifying IT sites, to which access can be inhibited, offering remote gaming which is not legal as they do not refer to the concessionaires selected pursuant to Article 6". The use of AI, therefore, is envisaged to allow the Customs and Monopolies Agency (A.D.M.), in agreement with the Guardia di Finanza and making use of the company referred to in art. 83 co. 15 decree-law n. 112/2008 converted with amendments by law no. 133/2008, to carry out the functions envisaged by the following Paragraph 3 of the aforementioned art. 22, namely: a) draw up the list of IT sites offering legal remote gaming services directly and exclusively referring to the concessionaires selected pursuant to Article 6; b) also draw up and constantly update the list of IT sites whose access is prohibited as they are aimed at a non-legal offer of remote gaming because they do not refer to the licensees referred to in letter a.