Italy: Online slots launch date

As expected, after a year of delay online slots have been finally launched on Italian licensed websites today.

53 licensed websites have started offering over 1,400 slot games making the array of games available on Italian licensed platforms much more attractive. Indeed, online slots represent beteen 70% and 80% of the tunover of online casino operators and their launch together with more stringent measures against the so called “totem” and non-licensed websites, are likely to lead to a considerable growth in the Italian online gaming market. Indeed, the major issue of Italian licensed platforms so far has been the competition from unlicensed sites since the size of the black market in the online casino sector was expected to be 70% of the actual market because of the lack of online slots.

Now that players can find the same types of games on licensed platform, it is likely they will switch to licensed platforms without taking the risk of criminal sanctions for illegal gambling on unlicensed platforms and for tax frauds as winnings on licensed platforms are taxed at the source while winnings on unlicensed platforms should be subject to taxation and if not declared players can face criminal penalties. This change might open a season of changes in the Italian gaming market that will see the launch of betting exchange games and bets on virtual events but what operators more wait for is the implementation of rules allowing the offering of bets that are not included in the official AAMS schedule.

Finally, as of the 1st of December 2012, AAMS has been cancelled and merged with the Customs Authority to form the “Agenzia dei Monopoli e delle Dogane”. It is likely that nothing will change for operators other than some logos on their sites, but everything is still uncertain.

Do you want to know more on the above? Feel free to contact me, Giulio Coraggio (giulio.coraggio@dlapiper.com).