Italian betting shop tendering rules: first insights!
The Italian tendering rules for the award of 15,000 betting shop / corner shop licenses have now been submitted to the Ministry of Finance with some interesting news.
According to the press, the tendering rules for the award of betting shop licenses have been finalised and submitted to the Ministry of Finance for their review.
Insights on the betting shop tendering rules
In addition to the terms that were already known, the main insights that emerge from the draft tendering rules are the following:
- It is will be necessary to bid for 3 different types of licenses – the tender will award 10,000 betting shop licenses, 4,000 betting corner licenses and 1,000 betting licenses for bars and restaurants. Entities interested in applying for each of the types of licenses above shall submit 3 different bids;
- The tender will not be open to everyone – the tender will apparently be only open to current licensees and to those that can potentially connect at least 50 shops. The rationale of this provision is to open the market not only to operators, but also to providers that connect different shops to be run by other companies. We will have to see the exact terms of this requirement. The issue is whether operators that currently do not hold a license and do not want to connect at least 50 shops will be left out. In such case, they might partner with some providers;
- No maximum number of licenses – while the previous tendering processes provided for a maximum number of licenses to be awarded to the same entity in order to limit the level of concentration, such requirement is apparently not provided by the new draft rules. Therefore, operators might potentially obtain a substantially large market share if they bid more than the other bidders; and
- Lower performance bond required – the old betting shop rules require to have in place a € 70,000 bank guarantee per betting shop. The amount can increase/decrease depending on the turnover, but this is still a large amount. Apparently, the amount of bank guarantee that will be required to entities holding the new licenses will be lower.
No news on the timing of the tender
As mentioned in this post, the timing of the betting shop tender is still uncertain. On the 15th of September 2016 the discussions between the Government and the Municipalities will restart and hopefully they will reach an agreement on the time of operation and the distance of gaming halls/betting shops from sensitive locations and will lead to the launch of the tender by the end of 2016.
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WRITTEN BY GIULIO CORAGGIO
IT, gaming, privacy and commercial lawyer at the leading law firm DLA Piper. You can contact me via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at +39 334 688 1147.