Italy: VLT licences assigned, what opportunities?

The Italian Gambling Authority, AAMS, awarded yesterday the 12 new AWP/VLT licenses that will last for 9 years from the date of execution.

It is interesting to see that the new license holders include not only the old licensees but also 3 new entrants which shows that the market is still not fully mature and new entrants see opportunities for them. Indeed, the Italian VLT market has less than 3 years of age and the model of business adopted by the different licensees is very similar which gives room to new entrants that want to adopt an innovative approach. In this respect, the current situation might be of interest for instance for companies managing gaming halls that want to enter into JVs with licensees or runs a chain of VLT halls on the basis of a supply agreement with a licensee.

Moreover, the sole VLT license that has not been awarded yet is the one which B Plus, the largest Italian AWP/VLT operator had applied for. Indeed, as a consequence of the recent events, B Plus has been granted with a 6 months extension period at the end of which either their VLT rights might be reassigned to the current licensees (e.g. through an auction) or B Plus might have found in the meantime a potential buyer and therefore will be awarded with the license. Indeed, this last option might be interesting for both investors and gaming operators/suppliers that might take advantage of the peculiarity of the case.

As usual if you want to discuss the above, feel free to contact me, Giulio Coraggio (giulio.coraggio@dlapiper.com).