Italy: new licensee and new slot machines, lots to come!

Time for lots of changes in Italian gaming machines market, the Italian regulator issued the videolottery and AWP license to B Plus and new rights to install videolottery machines are going to be issued.

The Italian gaming market has always interesting developments and the main current news is that one of the largest Italian AWP and VLT operators, B Plus, received the confirmation of the assignment of its new 9 years license. This might sound surprising after the events of the last months and it will be interesting the potential reaction by the other licensees which might have considered to auction for the VLT rights left available by B Plus.

Also, last week it was the deadline for the recalculation of the AWP (the so called “comma 6A”) machines whose authorization right (the so called “nulla osta”) was held by the licensees. This has an impact also on VLTs since the number of VLTs that can be installed has to be between 7% and 14% of the number of AWPs. And, according to the gaming press, among others, Codere will increase its VLTs of 1,300 units, Gmatica of 1,260, Sisal of 950, Lottomatica of 930, HBG of around 380 and Cogetech of around 370 while the other licensees should not increase the number of their VLTs. Based on such estimates, Lottomatica should become the largest operator with 83,500 AWPs, B Plus would follow with 83,000 while Sisal would have 42,000 AWPs and HBG would have 37,000 AWPs and the total number of AWPs would be 438,000. This is relevant also in the view of the upcoming roll out of the new AWPs that will shortly require to replace them.

However, the increase of VLTs will require also a financial effort for licensees, that shall pay within the next 30 days € 15,000 per each additional VLT that they will be willing to install.

This comes while licensees are trying to renegotiate with the Goverment the settlement of the € 2,5 bn fines. Indeed, the initial option to pay 25% of such amount has not been deemed viable and apparently the parties involved are aiming to finding a solution that might be more financially feasible.

Again there will be lots to follow, but in the meantime if you want to discuss, feel free to contact me, Giulio Coraggio (giulio.coraggio@dlapiper.com). Also join our IPTitaly group on LinkedIn.