Sportsbetting full liberalization is getting closer with the publication by the Italian gaming regulator of the updated draft protocol of communication (PSQF) which has the purpose of getting rid of the official list of bets and events soon.

The liberalization of the Italian sportsbetting market has been a process started over two years ago and now near to a completion.

The current scenario in the Italian sportsbetting market

After several years in which operators’ sportsbetting offering was restricted to the bets and events of the official list published by the Italian gaming regulator (AAMS), (the so called “Palinsesto Ufficiale”), two years ago it was introduced the possibility for operators to offer in addition to the Palinsesto Ufficiale their own customised types of bets and events as part of what is called the Palinsesto Complementare.

The opening up of the sportsbetting offering accompanied by the entrance in the Italian gaming market of new major operators due to such change led to a 90% turnover growth of the online sportsbetting market which clearly showed the need of such change.

The upcoming further change

The current regulatory scenario is much better than in the past.  However, in relation to the bets and events included in the official list published by the gaming regulator, operators still need to comply with the old regime which means for instance that only in relation to such bets and events the result is certified and notified by the regulator to operators and that operators have to work on two parallel regimes depending on the type of bet/event involved.

The approval of the new protocol of communication for sportsbetting whose updated draft version has been just published di AAMS means that the gaming regulator will stop publishing its official list of bets and events and any bet/event will be offered as part of the Palinsesto Complementare.

This will enable operators to offer their own types of bets and events with no restriction and to have full control on them which is a massive change compared to the current scenario.

The timing of the change

The gaming regulator hopes of being able to adopt the new protocol of communication with effect from 1 January 2016.  And this change should (hopefully) occur at the same time when the new GGR 20% tax for sportsbetting will be introduced making the market much more attractive for operators.

The expectations are quite high about the potential growth of the Italian sportsbetting market following its full liberalization.