The just published Italian draft budget law provides for the award of new online gaming and betting shop licenses as well as the change in taxation from AWPs and VLTs and a new cure procedure for CTDs.

The Government has just published the draft budget law which provides for the following changes in the gaming sector:

New online gaming licenses

200 new online gaming licenses shall be awarded by means of a procedure to be launched by 31 July 2016. The licenses will last for 6 years up to 31 December 2022 against the payment of a fixed price of € 200,000.

New betting shop licenses

The draft law provides for the award of

  • 15,000 betting shop licenses against the payment of an initial bidding price of € 30,000 and
  • 7,000 betting corner licenses against the payment of an initial bidding price of € 15,000.

Betting shops are those whose main activity is in the betting/gaming sector, while betting corners have a main activity different from betting/gaming (e.g. a tobacco shop with a desk dedicated to betting). The licenses will last for 9 years and the procedure for the award of licenses shall occur between 1 May 2016 and 31 July 2016.

New cure procedure for CTDs

CTDs had been given the opportunity to cure their position last year by means of an application procedure under which they were authorized to operate up to the expiry of the Italian licenses held by betting shops (i.e. 30 June 2016). The terms of such procedure have been now reopened to encourage other operators to cure their position.

On the contrary new sanctions have been introduced for those that will not cure their position providing that the foreign operator that controls a network of CTDs might be considered to have a permanent establishment for tax purposes in Italy. On the basis of that conclusion, financial institutions shall deduct an amount equal to 25% on each transaction processed to their benefit.

New land based bingo licenses

250 new land based bingo licenses will be awarded against the payment of € 350,000. Hopefully, these new licenses will be accompanied by new regulations on bingo, but this is not addressed in the draft law.

New taxes for AWPs and VLTs

The taxation on AWPs will be increased to 15% of the turnover, while the taxation on VLTs will be increased to 5.5% of the turnover. It is unclear whether the € 500 million contribution will be confirmed which would not make any sense. This is certainly the provision that will lead to the more difficult debates also because the taxation on machines has already been considerably increased in the past.

This is only the first draft of the law that might be subject to changes. In any case it shall be finalized by the end of 2015 at the latest.