The possibility for betting shops run under a foreign gambling license (the CTDs) to be authorised to operate in Italy through a procedure set out by a recent law might open a new page in the sports betting sector. But the number of shops that will decide to adhere to such procedure is still a question mark.
The current status of the Italian betting market
The Italian betting market is quite peculiar since there are both betting shops run under an Italian gaming license issued by AAMS and those run under a foreign license on the basis of the EU principle of freedom of services, the so called CTDs. The number of CTDs in the country is quite uncertain since there are no official figures but they are expected to be around 5,000.
The move from the Italian Parliament
I had already discussed in a previous post about the opportunity given to CTDs to be authorised to operate in Italy up to 2016 under a procedure that has now been implemented by the Italian gambling regulator, AAMS, through the publication of the application form that shall be submitted by the end of January 2015.
In the next days AAMS will also publish the rules that shall be accepted by the CTDs to be authorised whose contents shall reproduce in their main terms the obligations prescribed by the license agreement executed by the holders of an Italian remote gaming license. Operators that will adhere to the procedure will have to pay € 10,000 that will be then deducted from unpaid taxes of the previous years that shall be paid by the 30th of June and November 2015.
The reaction from CTDs
The response from CTDs to such regulatory change has been quite different. Some operators already declared that they will not join the procedure because they believe that their business is already fully compliant with applicable laws. However, according to the press, 20% of the CTDs will decide to go through the procedure which might in any case lead to a major change for the Italian betting sector.
The question is however on which operators will be joining the procedure and on whether those operators that will not decide to join will actually challenge it. And indeed the same law approving the procudere above has considerably increased the sanctions for operators that will decide not to join.
We will see the developments of the above and whether a negotiation will start between betting operators and the Government in order to obtain reassurances as to the amount of taxes relating to the previous years that will be requested to joining operators.