Italy’s four land-based casinos have weathered difficult economic fortunes in the past few years, especially in Campione d’Italia.
Casinò di Campione has been closed since early 2019, having been declared bankrupt in 2018.
As with all other sectors in Italy, casinos have also had to contend with the total advertising ban introduced by the government, which has been in full effect since summer 2019.
Under these rules any sponsorship or marketing by gambling companies is illegal and punishable with fines.
Other recent legislative measures in effect in Italy include legislation to restrict how close gambling venues can be to sensitive buildings such as a schools. However the implementation of these rules remains handicapped by local politics.
There are also plans to require all slot machines in Italy to be linked to a monitoring system, which will grant the gambling regulator remote access.
Although laws have been passed to bring these changes into effect, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has seen its implementation delayed until at least 2021 and possibly beyond.
Tax increases have also been introduced across the board in Italy, including a new “tax on winnings”.
From January 15, 2019 players who win more than €200 on video lottery terminals (VLTs) will pay a 20 percent tax.
From March, players will also pay 20 percent on winnings of more than €500 on other popular lotteries, including Win for life, Win for Life Gold and SiVinceTutto, and on scratchcards.
A further €631m tax will be raised from gaming machines by increasing duty on slot machines from 21.68 percent to 23.85 percent and on VLTs from 7.93 percent to 8.50 percent.
However, operators have been able to partially offset the rise in tax by adjusting the return to player (RTP) rates. Currently, slot machines can now be run at RTP of 65 percent, down from 68 percent. While VLTs can be set at 83 percent RTP.
These increases were on top of rises to slots taxes effective rom February 10, 2020. Slot machine rose 1.32 percent to 23 percent, while video lottery terminals (VLTs) rates climbed from 7.9 percent to 9 percent. From January 2021 these tax rates will rise again to 24 and 8.6 percent respectively.
Beyond Italy’s borders the four Italian properties also face competition from Slovenian, Swiss, Austrian and French casinos.
The terrestrial casino sector in Italy remains outside of the supervision of the country’s regulator, the Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS).
Instead, casinos are under the control of the Ministry of Interior and are run by the local authorities in the provinces and municipalities in which they are located.
Casinos’ hours of operation vary across the country and are established by the relevant local authority.
The AAMS is responsible for the regulation of online gambling services.
Players must be at least 18 years of age to gamble in Italy.
In each of the four casinos in Italy, there is an internal commission responsible for all matters relating to player protection.
Additionally, casinos offer information to players about gambling addiction and the treatment services available to problem gamblers.
Casino staff are trained recognise the behaviour that is characteristic of problem gambling.
Italian gambling operators must offer self-exclusion services and ensure that once a player has self-excluded, they are not able to place bets or make deposits into an online account for the established exclusion period.
The list of self-excluded players must be notified to AAMS.
With regards to remote gambling, players must be allowed to establish betting limits and there cannot be default or unlimited values.
Legal Gambling Age: 18 Years Old
Smoking Ban: Yes, but allowed in specific areas.
Terrestrial: Multiple licences, capped at four
Online: Multiple licences, not capped
Terrestrial: Differs by municipality. Authorised games include French roulette, American roulette, blackjack, punto banco, craps and poker variants.
Online: Casino games, including online slots.
Terrestrial: Ministry of Interior for land-based casinos
Size of Illegal Gambling Market : The illegal gambling market in Italy is estimated to be worth at least 23bn Euros.
Market Protection Measures / Tools to Tackle Illegal Gambling:Website blocking is permitted in Italy and there are also advertising restrictions in place.
Currency : Euro
(Source:The World Bank)
GNI (2014, Local Currency, Millions): 15,83,333
Internet Penetration (Internet Users):62%
(Source: The World Bank)
Mobile Penetration (Mobile Cellular Subscriptions): 154%
(Source: The World Bank)
Doing Business Ranking (June 2015):45
(Source: World Bank Group)
Last Updated: May 2019