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Applicability of Italian whistleblowing rules extended to gambling operators

How the Italian budget law may affect the provisions on whistleblowing for the gambling sector

The Italian whistleblowing regime might be extended to gambling operators’ employees soon, with new obligations arising for licensed companies.

What is the current scope of Italian whistleblowing law?

Italian whistleblowing laws provide different regimes:

In the public sector, protection is granted to employees of public authorities (whistleblowers) who can report either

unlawful conducts in the interest of the integrity of public authorities.  The protection takes the form of a guarantee, albeit within certain limits, of the confidentiality of the whistleblower’s identity and the prohibition of retaliatory acts that are to be considered null and void and which may result in the application of a pecuniary sanction by Anac.

In the private sector, whistleblowers’ protection concerns employees and workers of companies that adopt the organizational model required under Italian law on corporate criminal liability.  Also, in such a scenario, the protection:

  • involves protecting the confidentiality of whistleblowers;
  • prohibits retaliatory acts with the possible application of disciplinary sanctions and
  • provides a lawful reason for disclosure of secrets that may exempt the worker from civil and criminal liability.

The worker’s protection ceases, though, in the event of unfounded reports made with intent or gross negligence.

The extension of the liability protection to whistleblowers of gambling operators

As part of the changes that will be introduced through the Italian budget law, there is the potential extension to employees and workers of online and land-based gambling licensed operators of liability exemption regime provided by Italian whistleblowing law for reported offenses.

If approved, it will be a relevant change since it will oblige Italian gambling licensed operators to implement a whistleblowing scheme compliant with the requirements and limitations provided by Italian law.

To know more about the Italian whistleblowing regime, you can read the article “Whistleblowing law in Italy: What do you need to do now?“.

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Vincenzo Giuffré

Lawyer at DLA Piper IPT Italy, Milan| Gambling and Gaming Sector| eSports, Media, Sports and Entertainment | Bocconi University | University of Minnesota - W. Mondale Law School | Visiting Student at National University of Singapore (NUS)

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