Italy: Betting exchange regulations in force!

The Italian betting exchange regulations have been just published on the Official Gazette and will soon come into force. But the question is what will be the effect of betting exchange games in the Italian market?

Betting exchange regulations provide a platform certification and approval process along the lines of what already prescribed for casino and card games. Also, the maximum winning will be € 10,000 and operators will be able to offer both events and types of odds included in AAMS official schedule and those customized events and types of odds submitted by them whose offering will soon be possible for fixed odd sportsbetting games.

However, as occurred with the coming into force of bets on virtual events, the favourable tax regime of betting exchange games which will be 20% of gross profits (i.e. of the operator’s commission that cannot exceed 10% of the amount gambled) creates concerns on the potential negative effect that these games might have on the sportsbetting market. Indeed, the sportsbetting sector will soon see a process of liberalization which might partially reduce the loss suffered in 2012, but its tax regime based on turnover rather than on gross profits might render the betting exchange offering more attractive for players.

Additionally, according to the published version of the decree, it appears that operators will not be able to team up in networks in the betting exchange offering and therefore a type of game which was already likely to be offered by very few operators might end up having a single operator controlling the entire market even if the international liquidity sharing will not be allowed.

Given the above it will be interesting to see the reaction from sportsbetting operators to the coming into force of betting exchange regulations. And as usual, if you want to discuss about the above, feel free to contact me, Giulio Coraggio (giulio.coraggio@dlapiper.com).