The tender for the award of new Italian online gaming licenses has now been launched, but operators have to hurry up!
The long awaited Italian online gaming licenses are now available and below is the basic information that you need to know
How Italian online gaming licenses are going to be awarded?
The main terms of the tender are the following:
1. How many Italian online gaming licenses?
There will be 120 licenses to be awarded on a “first come first served basis” with no bidding process. But at least 1/3 of those licenses are expected to be awarded to the existing operators in the market whose licenses already expired.
2. Who can apply for the license?
There is no restriction to the types of entities that can apply for a license. However, if an operator does not already hold a European online gaming license in Italy or another EU country with a turnover of at least € 1.5M during the last 2 years, it shall post an additional € 1.5M bank guarantee.
3. What are the games covered by the license?
Italy provides for an “umbrella” license that covers all the games that are not subject to exclusive licenses i.e. sportsbetting, horse betting, casino, poker, skill games, fantasy sport, bingo, betting exchange, bets on virtual events etc.. Once the license is awarded, it is necessary to obtain the technical approval for each type of game.
4. What is the cost of the license?
The price of the license is of € 200K.
5. What is the timing of award of the license?
The deadline for the filing of the applications is the 19th of March 2018 and the applications will be opened on the 19th of April 2018. Once the applications are filed there is usually a 3/5 month period from the application to the award of the license.
Why should an entity apply for an Italian online gaming license?
These are some the main reasons I would consider:
1. The Italian online gaming market is one of the largest in Europe
The market has been considerably growing during the last years, also because of the liberalization of sportsbetting which is now followed by the liberalization of horse betting and will be followed by poker sharing liquidity.
2. The Italian gaming tax regime is now more friendly
All the games switched to a GGR based gaming tax regime, with a 20% GGR tax applicable to poker, casino, skill games, betting exchange and bingo, 22% GGR tax applicable to online sportsbetting and 47% GGR tax applicable to horse betting.
3. The life for non-Italian licensed operators targeting Italian residents might become tougher
With the entrance in the Italian market of most of the major international operators and the completion of the offering to all the main types of games, players are less attracted by the unlicensed offering. At the same time, Italian law punishes with criminal and tax related sanctions the offering of games/bets to Italian residents without a local license.