Italian betting palpable errors ⚠️ issues close to an end?

Regulations on palpable errors are a main issue in the Italian gaming market, will regulations or courts sort the issue?

There is no operator in the betting market that has not suffered at least once a palpable error. This might be due to either manual or technical errors. In both scenarios, players are ready with their “spiders” to identify them and take advantage of the error.

???? Palpable errors in the Italian gaming market

I had covered the issue already in the past. The there is a “famous” bulletin circular of the Italian gaming authority which provides that palpable errors are part of the “business risk” of operators. Therefore bets have to be paid. This bulletin circular has become so famous that once a palpable error occurs, players are more than ready to attach it to their communications.

The result of the above is that while on .COM markets there isn’t much fishing for palpable errors since bets are always cancelled in this case, in the Italian market this has become a quite profitable business.

Indeed, then operators have to end up in a situation where the gambling authority is pushing for the immediate payment of bets, with players contacting the regulator on a daily basis to put pressure on them.

⁉️ Shall palpable errors be paid then?

I had discussed months ago about a new sportsbetting law entrusting the gaming authority to decide on disputes relating to palpable errors. This would have been a major step ahead since the cost and lenght of a court proceeding usually dissuade operators from challenging the payment of palpable errors and push them to find at least a settlement agreement.

The bill for such new sportsbetting law has been finalized a while ago, but the change in the Italian Government delayed considerably the approval.

In the meantime, Italian courts supported the position of operators though providing that civil law rules on contractual errors prevail on gaming regulating on palpable errors. The consequence of the above is that if an error took place and

  • it was recognizable by the player and
  • the player took advantage of it,

this shall be cancelled with the amount bet returned to the relevant players.

I don’t mean that this is an easy route to pursue and actually it is very complicated, with the regulator insisting on the enforcement on gaming rules, despite of the clear position of courts. But the above is the best available option in a market where you can never have a relaxed sleep…

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Giulio Coraggio

I am the head of the Italian Technology sector and the global head of the IoT and Gaming and Gambling groups at the world leading law firm DLA Piper. Top global IoT influencer and FinTech lover, finding solutions to what's next for our clients' success.

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