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The New Round of Licencees in Italy the Falls Short of Expectations due to Restrictive Advertising GuidelinesPublished March 3, 2019 by Lee R
The restrictions remain, but operators will continue to apply to the unique Italian landscape.
Many newly licenced brands in Italy are struggling to achieve brand awareness in the restrictive advertising environment currently in place in that jurisdiction.
The Current Roster
Italy’s Agenzia della Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM) regulatory body issued a new official list of online gambling licencees cleared to operate until December 31, 2022. The full roster list includes 66 companies plus an additional four subject to certain contextualised restrictions.
The New Era
Online licencing was just opened in Italy barely a year ago, in January 2018, with the government originally seeking 120 permits.
The price per licence is €200k, with the €13.2m figure the government has raised still falling far short of funds it hoped to bring from the shortfall in permit issues.
More New Licencees
Others on the new list include Pinnacle, who brought its Malta- and Curacao-licensed online betting background to the Boot after foregoing UK online application last May.
Another intriguing operator taking the plunge in Italy is Russia's 1xBet, whose Curacao-licensed operation has a history with the jurisdiction, having previously attempted to strike an international betting partnership with Italy’s Serie A football league in 2017, a deal which was ultimately nixed due to 1xBet’s lack local licencing.
Other prominent licencees include Stars Group, William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair, GVC and bet365, along with local land-based and online businesses and new Scandinavian entrants including Casumo and Videoslots.
Italy Market Large
With current licencees having filed applications before the government imposed its new stringent advertising guidelines and hiked taxes for both online and land-based gambling operations, Italy’s market still remains second only to the UK in terms of revenue, meaning that new operators still will want to find their way in.
It is believed that these policy changes contributed to the 10 companies having their applications rejected and/or choosing to withdraw their applications, a list which includes Betclic Everest Group of France and and Spintastic’s parent Piper Ltd.
The companies receiving restricted licenses include Scommettendo srl, Spati srl, Sogno di Tolosa Ltd and Betium parent Universal Solutions srl. Sogno di Tolosa operates Betn1, which was the subject of one of Italy's many probes of Malta-licensed operators before being cleared.
The Italian government plans to discuss restrictions with each company privately.
The advertising ban is unpopular, but Italy has chosen this method for protecting their citizens in the new regulation environment, and for operators to enjoy the benefits of the second largest iGaming market, they must and likely will find the ways and means to fall in line.