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9 min read

Gambling laws in Italy

Italians spend a fortune on gambling according to a study presented today, the total amount increased by almost 8 from 1998 to 2016 and now averaging around 132 euros per month per person. In 2016, 60.5 million Italians spent €96.1 billion on gambling, according to a study presented to the Senate by Avviso Pubblico.

The peninsula has the sad benefit of being the first country in the world to use gambling losses and gross domestic product (GDP). The players' ‘irrecoverable loss’ of 96.1 billion euros is about 19.5 billion euros, of which 10.5 — to the state and 9 — to management companies, and the rest is redistributed to profit.

That 19.5 billion is about 0.85% of GDP, compared with 0.78% 0.75% in the US and UK, even if the latter two spend more per capita. The study was born ‘from the requests of many municipalities, disturbed by social disadvantages of the economy’.

The problem is complex, because gambling is a multidisciplinary sector, but not a lot. According to official figures, 24 thousand Italians seek treatment in an institution from gambling addiction organizations, but according to unofficial estimates, several hundred thousand Italians and their loved ones suffer from it.

The Italian authorities are using several methods to combat this evil: reducing the number of slot machines, reducing the opening hours of gambling halls, reducing the number of games on offer, installing systems that will serve as ‘alarm calls’ for the player, such as a clock telling him how long he has been playing.

This regulation is all the more necessary as, according to National Anti-Mafia Attorney Giovanni Russo, quoted by Corriere della Sera, ‘big money in this sector always attracts the attention of mafia organizations’.


Italian gambling laws in real casinos and online sites


To date, there is still no specific gambling legislation in the European Community.

However, in 2013, the European Parliament approved a resolution in which it establishes the ability and legitimacy of individual member states to approve rules for the protection of players, and in 2014, the same parliament issued a recommendation in which it asks member states to monitor and monitor to pay particular attention to the online phenomenon. 

Italy is one of the EU countries that has always paid great attention to gambling and, above all, to the protection of citizens.

In this country, regulatory protection is carried out at three main levels: national legislation, regional legislation, and the provisions of individual municipalities.

The state, regions, and municipalities are aiming to strictly regulate gambling both in real casinos and gambling halls and on the increasingly used online platforms and virtual betting and bookmaking sites.

The main goal of the Italian legislator is to prevent the harmful effects of gambling on the mental, physical and economic health of society.

Another important aspect is to try to prevent fraud, which is very easy to carry out, especially over the Internet.

Finally, the third point, protected by law, also following EU directives, is the protection of minors, access to which should be prohibited in both real and virtual casinos.

In this regard, the legislation provides that for online sites it is mandatory to create a personal profile so that children under the age of eighteen cannot access the game.

In general, Italian national law distinguishes primarily between two types of games: prohibited and permitted.

The latter are subject to strict discipline and require specific concessions or authorizations.

With the 2005 law, the Agency for Customs and Monopolies is responsible for regulating the online gaming sector by blocking these websites without the necessary permits to operate.

Subsequently, by a 2011 law decree, the regulation of gambling is further tightened, especially on the Internet, by increasing fines and ensuring that exercise is suspended or even canceled in the event of three violations found within three years.

The same provision also contains stricter rules on concession requirements to counter the increasingly evident phenomena of evasion, fraud, and money laundering.

Another important law of 2009, according to which the publication of a ban on gambling for minors on all sites is mandatory. In addition, the creation of a so-called ‘game account’, which implies the use of a tax code and a valid identity document.

The 2010 law tightened the training requirements, while the 2012 law banned the advertising of gambling on TV and radio broadcasts, in newspapers, magazines, publications, film and theater plays, and on the Internet.

The 2014 Law and the Stability Law both aim to strengthen both control and punishment for offenders.

Along with national legislation, there are also regulations of individual regions and municipalities. Many regions, as well as many municipal governments, have approved specific measures to contain the harmful effects of gambling.

The main measures concern, for example, limiting opening hours and introducing a mandatory minimum distance between a casino or gambling hall and certain areas of the city.

The municipality of Genoa, for example, requires a specific opening and closing time by its decree of 2013 and prohibits the establishment of casinos or gambling halls near sensitive areas.

The municipality of Naples also banned the opening of casinos or gambling halls in the area of the historic center in a 2015 decree.

Thus, concerning gambling halls and real casinos, the main restrictions relate to distance from places identified as sensitive, hourly limit, ban on advertising to encourage gambling, clear statement of the risks associated with gambling, compliance with the requirements for the room, for example, noise pollution, architectural barriers, video surveillance, amplitude, etc and prohibition of access to minors.

The same rules apply to casinos and virtual websites, except for distance, physical location, and time limit.

The above-mentioned legal framework underlines the commitment of state, regional, and municipal authorities to counteract the consequences of gambling addiction in Italy through preventive and punitive measures to protect the health and safety of the population.

In Italy, gambling is only possible in the context of real or virtual establishments that meet certain requirements and have received the necessary concessions or permits to operate.

There are 4 authorized casinos in the country:

- Venice Casino (opened in 1638, considered ‘the oldest gambling house in the world’)

- Casino Campione (located in Campione d'Italia)

- Casino Sanremo

- Casino de la Vallee in Saint Vincent.


What rules online casinos must follow to be allowed to operate


Betting and gambling websites are constantly growing, which is why the government and administrative authorities have established strict discipline in this sector.

In Italy, the activity concession is issued by the AAMS (Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies), the pre-existing Agency for Customs and Monopolies - Monopoly Area, which is ‘the guarantor of legality and security in the field of entertainment and its equipment to guarantee the transparency of the game’.

Since 2011, AAMS has tightened its licensing requirements and published on its website a complete list of online casinos and gambling sites that meet these requirements, so that the consumer can always check the reliability and reliability of the selected site.

Requirements that online casinos must meet, among others:

- the type of software used

- transparency in the management of all economic transactions, as well as compliance with Italian law

- clear definition and publication of risks

- protection of minors

- observation

- for the supervision of fraud and money laundering


The first good tip for choosing an online casino and playing from home is to consider only AAMS-certified casinos and bookmakers.

Every authorized website clearly states this certificate. Another tip is to carefully read all the points related to creating a game account, as well as evaluate the type of guarantees provided in terms of protecting privacy, helping customers, and protecting transactions.

Finally, you should carefully examine the types of games and bets offered by the site to choose the one that is closest to your interests.

One of the safest and most well-known websites in the sector is Unibet, for example. As a founding member of the European Association for Gambling and Betting, Unibet now has over 10 million users worldwide and always guarantees maximum transparency and protection, as well as a safe and secure gaming environment.

In addition, Unibet offers the opportunity to have fun with a very wide range of bets and games and offers many lucrative promotions for both existing users and new players. Among them we mention, for example, the welcome bonus, thanks to which all new members can immediately receive free money to invest in the game, increasing both the chances of winning and the enjoyment.

A gambling license helps to have such business legally and to use it in such activities: 


  • construction
  • accounting 
  • gambling.

A license in Italy is required. The company's activities will be questioned and may be fined in case of its absence. 

Another issue to consider is gambling licensing as gambling is illegal in many countries. Therefore, if you want to owe this license and to open your casino legally, you have to know exactly where gambling is allowed. 


Licensing - Fundamentals


The industry of gaming is developed in areas where it has not been banned by the local government. These are offshore zones that are exempt from significant taxes. Among them is Isle of Man, Curacao, Kahnawake, Alderney, etc.

Advantages:

- possibility to participate in activities all over the world

- entering the European market

- enhancing the company's reputation in the market

- to get an EU registration number

- to collaborate with authoritative foreign companies

- to be able to work without paying taxes and write regular reports for the Commissioner-Controller.

To obtain a casino license, you must comply with all legal regulations. Then you can enjoy guaranteed business reliability and safety.

Licenses in Italy are issued by the AAGM Commission (Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies). It not only registers gambling companies, but also controls and regulates gambling activities, identifies illegal casinos, and law enforcement agencies to close their work, having every reason to initiate a criminal case.

In case of violation of the law, the licensee is threatened with revocation of the license or temporary termination of its validity.

AAGM is created to protect players from cheating, fraud, dishonest operators.

Requirements for licenses in Italy:

  1. validity of license — 9 years
  2. the document’s price is €250.000 (excluding VAT), payable upon obtaining a license
  3. EU representatives are competent for a license of Italy, and shops can register in any country
  4. any entrepreneur working in the EU countries (and Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway) is an applicant for an online casino license
  5. the Commission strictly monitors the functioning of Italian casinos (their services should not apply to foreign companies (domain ‘.com’)
  6. an online casino with an appropriate Italian gaming license can provide services to government users with a registered resource and domain ‘.it’
  7. servers can be located both on the territory of the country and in other EU countries (the condition is to connect to the site of the AAGM commission for online control).

Failure to comply with the online casino operating procedures can lead to monetary penalties (up to 5.000 euros) or arrest.

The essential things are obligatory payment of committees to the bank (1.5 million euros) and the software, which has to be tested to establish the level of innovation of the online casino.

The tax could be unique (20% of the total profit) for operators of online casinos, bookmakers of online companies, owners of gambling shops for currency exchange, poker rooms (including cash games), and sales tax.

The number of gaming rights for bets:

- Sports — about 3.5%

- Bingo Lotto — 11.5%

- Slot machines — 3%

- Horse racing — 10%

Conditions:

1) well-timed update of the online casino license

2) accessibility to certificates for all existing and working games and programs on the website

3) start new online establishments, register them and issue permits for each of them.




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