Licenses priced at $7.5M

Italy announces new licensing framework for iGaming concessions

Reading time 1:53 min

The Italian government has settled on a new framework of licenses for online gambling concessions, published by the Parliament's Gazette as an amendment by the government to its ongoing 'Reorganization of Gambling' legislation.

The government intends to settle long-standing legal disputes between the ADM, Italy's Customs and Monopolies Agency, and licensed operators over conflicting terms of license renewal in its planned overhaul of Italian gambling laws.

Earlier, a government intervention had suspended the ADM from terminating licenses that were set to expire in 2023 and 2024. The settlement will now see new online gambling concessions authorized by the end of 2024, with licenses set to a nine-year limit and priced at €7 million ($7.5 million).

The settlement will require the Italian online gambling operators to pay a premium of 35 times the previous price for online gambling licenses, which was set at €200,000 ($214,834) in 2018.

The Ministry of Finance (MEF) authorized the €7 million fee, claiming that it represented the evolving landscape of Italian online gambling since 2011, with the sector being dominated by the conglomerates of SNAI, Flutter Entertainment, Lottomatica, Entain, and SKS365.

However, online gambling trade body Logico refutes the price hike on online gambling licenses as a means to suppress competition, which MEF has applied to satisfy the demands of ADM to halve the number of operators competing in the market.

Additionally, each license will be subject to an annual fee of 3% of the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) after taxes. The terms of the license also state that operators are restricted to ‘operating one app per gambling product and one website per concessionaire, with no affiliated ‘skins’ websites permitted.’

AgiproNews cited estimates from the Ministry of Economy and Finance which note that ‘at least 50 operators will apply for the concession to renew license.’

MEF backed the government's framework and said it estimated gaming-related taxes to rise by €350 million ($376 million) over the following two years (€200 million in 2024 and €150 million in 2025). Meanwhile, concession fees alone are expected to raise €100 million ($107 million) in new annual revenue.

The framework will also apply new technical requirements on gambling licenses, as applicants must ensure that platforms have playing limits set by customers and send warning messages when limits are due to be exceeded. Additionally, the ADM will be granted further powers to fight unlicensed online gambling, which include measures such as payment blocking.

Parliament’s Gazette has also announced that the government will imminently launch a tender to operate Italy’s Lotto Euro game. Managed by IGT until November 2025, Lotto Euro anticipates a €7.7 billion annual turnover after 2025 and offers approximately €200 million in net annual revenue for nine years.

The government has set a starting bid for the Lotto tender of €1 billion, with payment installments specified for when the tender is awarded and for the following years of its contract.

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