The budget law: the "yes" of the Senate

The Senate Chamber voted for the government's confidence in the draft Budget Law 2018, which also includes provisions on games, with 149 votes in favor and 93 against, on the text resulting from the work of the fifth committee and with some corrections and additions of character institutional and technical. Approved the variation note, in turn approved by the Council of Ministers, the final ok arrived with 136 votes.

In the text of the Maneuver there are provisions on the games sector both in Article 77 and, above all, in Article 90. Specifically it is provided that the Customs and Monopoly Agency must establish the methods for keeping receipts from playing public authorized games, according to criteria of simplification and mitigation of management charges for the operators concerned and for the administration, including through the use of appropriate technological tools; without prejudice to the control needs of the financial administration. Finally this rule puts an end to the useless obligation of land-based public gaming concessionaires to store and hold all paper tickets for a full five years. The dematerialization of this obligation has only positive effects. All tickets can be scanned and held on a computer support that can be shown always and immediately in case of control by the competent Authorities.

"In order to reconcile the principles according to which public concessions are attributed according to competitive selection procedures with the need to pursue, in the matter of concessions for the collection of bets on sporting events, even horse racing, and non-sporting events, including events simulated, a correct distribution structure, also following the agreement ratified in the unified Conference, the Customs and Monopolies Agency assigns, with a tender to be issued by 30 September 2018, the relative concessions to the conditions already provided for in Article 1, comma 932, of the law 28 December 2015, n. 208, with an income of at least 410 million euros. To this end, the existing concessions, as well as the ownership of the regularized points pursuant to art. 1, paragraph 643, of the law December 23, 2014 n. 190, as well as the art. 1, paragraph 926, of the law of 28 December 2015 no. 208, are extended to December 31, 2018 against a payment of:

  1. six thousand euro for each point of sale having exclusive playing points, including regularized points;
  2. three thousand five hundred euros for each right relating to points of sale having as an accessory activity the marketing of public games.

The bingo competition is also scheduled, which will be called for bets by September 30, 2018. For the legislator this call for tenders should guarantee about 73 million euros. Also in this case the extension will be burdensome and therefore the concessionaires of the Bingo game, which have not done more races since 2000, will have to increase their monthly extension fee to around 7,500.00 euros".

The law n. 208/2015, for the allocation of Bingo concessions in relation to those expired in the 2013-2016 period, it provided for the extension of the expired concessions: "the payment of the sum of € 5,000 for each month or fraction of a month longer than fifteen days, or € 2,500 for each fraction of a month less than fifteen days, by the expiring contractor who also intends to participate in the call for tenders for the reassignment of the concession, for each month or fraction of a month of extension of the expired concession in any case up to the date of subscription of the new reassigned concession".

At least at this stage, the Legislator has rightly pointed out that in order to allow the procedures for selecting Bingo and bets to be carried out, the regions will have to adapt their laws regarding the dislocation of public gaming points of sale. 'agreement ratified at the unified conference on 7 September 2017.

In the event that the Regions do not have to adapt their laws (which we consider illegitimate or even subversive), there will not be conditions for new tenders (no operator is able to participate in a call for tenders with regional laws and regulations so stringent municipal) with all the serious consequences of the case:

  • the Treasury will not collect 480 million;
  • illegal gambling will always take more important slices of the market.

Think of the case of Piedmont: there will be no more Bingo halls, which today support their activities thanks to amusement and entertainment devices. The text now passes to the Chamber, where we will probably reserve other surprises.