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Is online gambling legal in Italy?

Italy is on the verge of significant changes in its online gambling sector, marking the first major reorganization since 2011. Spearheaded by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (MEF) of the Italian Government, the legislation, known as the Reorganisation Decree, aims to address longstanding issues within the industry.

Protecting Vulnerable Individuals

Central to the Reorganisation Decree is the objective of protecting vulnerable individuals, particularly minors, from the adverse effects of gambling addiction. The decree seeks to promote cautionary messaging and introduce self-limitation tools on gambling platforms to foster responsible gambling behavior.

License Reform

One of the most significant reforms introduced by the Reorganisation Decree is the overhaul of the licensing framework for online gambling operators in Italy, known as ‘concessionaires’. In an effort to generate funds for responsible gambling campaigns, operators will now be subject to a 3% tax on gambling services. Moreover, the application process for online gambling licenses will now include a substantial €7 million authorization fee, a significant increase from the current fee of €200,000.

Criticism and Opposition: The steep increase in licensing fees has drawn criticism from gambling unions within Italy, who argue that such exorbitant fees could hinder the growth of the industry and disproportionately impact smaller operators.

Enforcement of Regulations: Italy’s commitment to tightening gambling regulations is evident in its enforcement measures. Tech giants such as Alphabet Inc’s YouTube and popular streaming platform Twitch were recently fined for breaching the terms of the 2019 Dignity Decree, which prohibits gambling advertising. YouTube faced a fine of €2.25 million, while Twitch incurred a penalty of €900,000, signaling Italy’s resolve to clamp down on illicit practices within the industry.

Is online gambling legal in Italy?

Italy’s Reorganisation Decree represents a significant step towards modernizing its online gambling sector and addressing issues of consumer protection and responsible gambling. However, the road ahead is fraught with challenges, and the success of these reforms will hinge on effective implementation and collaboration between stakeholders. As countries worldwide grapple with the trials and tribulations of gambling, Italy’s efforts underscore the global push for stricter regulations to safeguard vulnerable individuals and promote responsible gambling practices.

What is the legality of gambling in Italy?

Italy stands as one of the few European countries where gambling, betting, and lotteries are fully legalized and regulated. However, this legality comes with strict oversight, requiring providers to obtain a gambling license issued by the state before operating within the country’s borders.

Legal Framework: The Italian gambling market operates within a well-defined legal framework, designed to ensure fair play, protect consumers, and prevent illicit activities. This framework includes regulations governing various forms of gambling, from traditional casino games to sports betting and lotteries.

Market Performance: In recent years, the Italian gambling market has experienced significant growth, with 2022 marking a notable milestone. Total wagers in the Italian gambling market soared to over 136 billion euros, representing a remarkable 23% increase from 2019, the year preceding the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Recovery from COVID-19 Impact: Despite initial setbacks due to the pandemic, the Italian online gambling industry demonstrated resilience, bouncing back from the adverse effects of the health crisis. The gross gaming revenue (GGR), a key indicator of the industry’s financial performance, surpassed 20 billion euros in 2023, signaling a robust recovery.

Popular Games: Amusement with prize (AWP) slot machines and video lottery terminals (VLTs) emerged as the top revenue-generating games in the Italian gambling market. These gaming machines, known for their immersive gameplay and enticing rewards, captivated players and contributed significantly to the industry’s financial success.


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