New Italian online gaming licenses – Here are your FAQs!
How and why shall I apply for new Italian online gaming licenses and what are the main obligations triggered by the tender?
The breaking news is that the tender for new Italian online gaming licenses has now been launched and you can find its main details HERE. But based on the questions addressed by clients in the first days following the tender, I thought the following FAQs might be useful:
1. The deadline and why you cannot miss this opportunity
The deadline for the filing of applications for new Italian online gaming licenses is the 19th of March 2018 and no late applications can be filed. Even if your company is not ready to enter into the Italian online gaming market, you might consider to apply for it as a new tender might occur in 2022 when all the existing licenses will be expire.
2. No technical requirements to be met at the time of the application
If your company already holds another European online gaming license with a turnover of at least € 1.5M during the last two years, no technical requirement has to be met at the time of the application and no technical test will be performed before the issue of the license. Technical tests shall be passed after the issue of the license before the launch of games. Operators need to launch at least one game (or at least pass the technical test in the live environment) within 9 months from the award of the license.
3. No need to have anything in Italy, but in the European Economic Area
The license holder does not have to establish an Italian entity or locate its servers in Italy. However, the license has to be run by means of a company based in the EEA where also the servers and the technical infrastructure has to be located. The establishing of the EEA entity can happen also after the license application, before the issue of the license.
4. Advantages for early applicants for new Italian online gaming licenses
Once applications are filed, operators will be granted with a reference number that will “book” their license out of the 120 online gaming licenses available. This means that at the time of the application the license will be “reserved” to the applying entity, unless it ends up not meeting the requirements. Envelops with application documents will be opened on the 19th of April 2018 and reviewed based on the order of application.
5. No fast track for existing operators
The procedure does no provide for any type of exemption to the applicable obligations for existing license holders whose license has expired. I submitted an official request asking for clarifications as to whether those operators are exempted from submitting the required bank guarantees, considering that they have already in place a large guarantee towards the Italian gaming authority.
I will periodically update this blog post based on the most frequent questions received. Therefore continue watching this article!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or via phone at +39 334 688 1147.