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Gaming licenses for suppliers to challenge the black market?

The Italian gambling regulator has now confirmed that they are considering to oblige also online game suppliers to hold an Italian remote gaming license in order to offer their games to Italian residents as a measure to fight against the black market.

As anticipated I attended the EiG in Barcelona and as part of round table session with regulators of different jurisdictions, it was interesting to hear from the Italian online gambling regulator that they are considering to put in place a licensing regime also for game suppliers in order to fight the Italian black market i.e. the offering of games to Italian residents by entities operating without an Italian license.

Indeed, according to them, one of the reasons why the Italian black market is still large is because casino games suppliers offer the same types of games to both Italian licensed operators and .COM operators targeting Italian players which due to the lighter tax regime are able to offer the same product with a better payout which therefore is more attractive for players despite of the potential criminal sanctions that both operators and players can face.

At the moment game suppliers are not regulated in Italy and they act as mere subcontractors of operators without the need to hold any local license and without taking any direct obligation towards Italian authorities. However, if they will be required to hold a local license it is likely they will be expressly required to prevent any offering of games to Italian residents by their customers operating without an Italian remote gaming license.

This measure shall be adopted according to expectations by the Government as part of the laws implementing the so called “Delega Fiscale” which is a law expected to be adopted soon by the Senate that will empower the Government to adopt in the next 12 months regulations that, among others, should harmonise and reorganize the gaming sector.

It will be interesting to see the developments of the above. In the meantime, feel free to contact me, Giulio Coraggio (giulio.coraggio@dlapiper.com) to discuss. Also, follow us on our IPTitaly group on LinkedIn!