Italy: online poker variants approved!

The Italian gambling regulator, AAMS, has just issued guidelines setting gaming law principles for poker tournaments with variable prizes and multiphase poker tournaments that might attract new interest to online poker in Italy.

The main features of poker tournaments is that the value of prizes awarded is determined by an RNG (rather than the operator) on the basis of a predetermined statistical RTP which cannot be lower than 80% as calculated on a 12 months period.

As a consequence unlike what happens in “normal” tournaments, it is possible that a single tournament has an RTP lower than 80%.  However, in order to comply with the statistical RTP plan, there might be also tournaments with winnings equal to 1,000% of the amount collected from players adding a new gambling element to the game.  This is a type of variant allowed only for tournaments with a predetermined number of participants such as Sit&Go tournaments.

In relation to multiphase poker tournaments, they try to reproduce the mechanic of live poker tournaments consisting in different “days” of tournaments.  Indeed they provide structures divided into levels and sections whose duration shall be predetermined and can depend also on the number of hands or blinds.

The approval process for this kind of online poker games is the same applicable to other card and casino games with an application to be filed with AAMS and a certification process and with specific protocol messages to be sent to the AAMS servers in order to enable the monitoring of the proper offering of the game.

The purpose of the above mentioned online poker variants is to make the game more engaging and reverse the current worldwide crisis of online poker.  It will be interesting to see the effects on the market and as usual feel free to contact me, Giulio Coraggio(giulio.coraggio@dlapiper.com) to discuss or partecipate to the consultation. Also follow us on Google+, in our IPTitaly group on LinkedIn and on Twitter.