International edition
September 29, 2020

A maximum initial stake of 1,000 euros per session will also be implemented

Italy legalises cash poker and casino

(Italy).- Italian long-awaited cash games decree passed into law last week, opening the way for existing operator licensees to offer cash poker and casino games into the Italian market. The new products will be subject to a gross profits tax of 20%, with the maximum allowable buy-in for skill games, including poker, played online and at public terminals or “totems”, raised from 100 to 250 euros.

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new payback ratio, requiring at least 90% of the amount collected to be paid back to players in prizes, has also been introduced. A maximum initial stake of 1,000 euros per session will also be implemented for poker and casino, requiring players to reload from their account once this amount has been wagered.

The new decree also allows for the organisation of “multi-level tournaments” where the winner of a qualified tournament will be able to re-invest their winnings as a buy-in for the subsequent session.

Lawyer Giulio Coraggio, a senior associate in the Milan office of DLA Piper, said the decree published on the Italian government’s official gazette yesterday was almost identical to the draft upheld by the Italian courts in December last year following a legal challenge from network provider Microgame. 

“The published decree does not implement any major change to the draft previously notified to the European Commission, but we will have a better understanding of the scenario following the adoption of the implementing bulletin circulars from AAMS.
In any case, this is good news for current operators and new entrants in the market as things might rapidly moving as hopefully also the decree on the new licenses will be approved in the next month or so". 

According to data provided to eGaming Review by consultancy Trust Partners, the launch of poker ring games and casino could see turnover from Europe’s largest egaming double by as early as 2012. Italian regulator AAMS released figures earlier this month showing that the continued growth of tournament poker in Italy last year helped turnover from the Italian online market grow by 28% last year to 4.8 billion euros, from 3.4 billion euros. 96% of this was accounted for by skill games (including tournament poker), sports betting and bingo. 

Coraggio told eGaming Review that he expected AAMS to publish bulletin circulars on its website today laying out the application process and the exact requirements operators would need to fulfill for the certification of their gaming platforms and the individual games they intended to offer.

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