The political apathy of the Piemonte case

The regional law of Piemonte n. 9/2016, with effect from 20 November, has imposed the removal of all slots installed in commercial establishments, including tobacconists, located near sensitive places such as schools, hospitals, places of worship and aggregation centers in general.

Here are the effects of this nefarious legislation: 10,000 jobs at risk, increase in VAT in the coming years, reintroduction of the tax on the first house, hospital ticket. Therefore, the consequences of the entry into force of the Piemonte Regional Law will be borne only by the end user: the citizen and the consumer (ie all Italians).

The trade associations are announcing legal battles, legitimate and due, seen and considered that the Government of the Piemonte region does not seem to have any intention to retrace their steps, proclaiming - in the best tradition of the dull and half-notch politicians - convinced of his reasons. Another legally embarrassing effect - which undermines what little credibility remains in our institutions - of the entry into force of the regional law of Piemonte is to call into question the terms of the agreement signed last September 7th in a unified Conference between Government, Regions and local authorities, which was to be translated into an implementing decree of the Ministry of Economy by the end of October.

The drama of this Regional Law is in the prohibitionist line, which has been married without the right of reply. The central government should have given a clear signal and challenged the Law n. 9/2016; but perhaps, without this justification, last year with the previous government was convinced to bring home the State-Regions agreement in a tight lap, so the appeal against the Piemonte law could be inconvenient. Unfortunately, the leaders of the Piemonte Region do not realize that with these methods only harmful effects are created: 1) the illegal gaming market is nourished, 2) the Piemonte will play in the neighboring regions to the detriment of the local economy (the so-called effect a leopard spot, well known in Naples and neighboring towns); 3) jobs and income from entire families are canceled; 4) significant national revenue is lost; 5) NO health benefits are obtained; 6) the central government is delegitimized (and this seems the main purpose); 7) delegitimize themselves, as signatories of the 7 September Agreement.

What then is the assumption that led, after a long and fruitful path of dialogue and discussion with Regions and local authorities, to the agreement for the reorganization of public gaming? It is good to remember some of the fundamental points of the State-Regions agreement: 1) halving, in three years, game points, from the current 98 thousand to about 50 thousand; 2) introduction of the health card to play and selective access to play points for the protection of minors; 3) reduction from 500 to 100 euro of the denomination of banknotes that can be introduced into the VLT; 4) raising control systems; 5) constant monitoring of the implementation of the reform, including through a free database on the evolution of the gaming volume and on its distribution in the territory, which can be accessed by the Municipalities. Surely the agreement can be perfected, especially in some steps such as the one that provides for the radical reduction of the points of sale. Profile for which there is a risk that the illegal market will take advantage of it. Another fundamental aspect is the need for a strong collaboration between the central government and that of the territory. The Piemonte Region, historically and politically always close to the central government, seems to have disregarded the agreement signed also with their placet. At this point it will be necessary that the regulation of the MEF, which goes to incorporate the agreement of 7 September u.s., make sure that the conduct of the Piemonte Region is disavowed.