A new package of gaming rules including new gaming taxes, betting licenses and regulations on mini-VLTs has been submitted by AAMS to the Italian Government.
Some of the provisions of the new framework of gaming regulations that up to last summer had to be included in the so called “delega fiscale” law will now be included in the Budget Law issued by the end of the year. According to the gaming press, the Italian gaming regulator has submitted to the Government a set of rules that provides, among others, the following:
Margin based gaming tax for Newslots and VLTs
This is a change included for a long time in the draft delega fiscale law as such games are currently subject to a turnover based gaming tax. The new GGR tax shall apparently provide for
- a 58% GGR tax for newslots (the so called comma 6a) and
- a 48% GGR tax for VLTs.
This change would replace the € 500 million duty that had led to considerable disputes. And this change would be in place from January 2016 with the consequent uncertainty as to the payments due in 2015 in relation to the € 500 million contribution. Also, it is unclear whether the same shift to a GGR tax will occur for all the online games as well as bingo and sportsbetting as provided by the draft version of the delega fiscale law.
Launch of Mini-VLTs?
The approval of the so called mini-VLTs or Newslots 3 i.e. remote controlled slots has been discussed for several years and might apparently be approved with the Budget Law, but their launch would occur in the next 2 years. This represents a major opportunity for new entrants in the market as over 400,000 machines shall be replaced.
Sportsbetting and bingo licenses?
All the sportsbetting shop licenses will expire in 2016 and the bingo licenses already expired. Such circumstance might lead to a revolution in the market. And the solution recommended by AAMS would apparently be to
- either launch a new tendering process for new licenses
- or extend the current licenses for at least additional 3 years also re-opening the terms for CTDs to cure their position.
The latter position is the most convenient for AAMS, but is also the one raising major concerns of compliance with EU laws. This is especially if such extension will not allow new entrants (and not only the CTDs), including online operators, to apply for licenses.
We will see what will happen, but certainly the gaming market is calling for a quick change.