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Italy Opens Applications for New Gambling Licenses

Italy Launches Public Tender for 120 Online Gaming Licenses

As of 2016, Italy has positioned itself as the second largest online gambling market in Europe. Figures released in 2017 showed Italy’s regulated online casinos and sports betting market revenue landed over €1 billion in 2016. Judging by the latest news from the Italian gaming market, the records will be broken again. The AMSS, Italian gambling authority, opened applications for 120 online gaming licenses. Here are the most important information and tender requirements related to the application process.       

Tender Terms and Conditions

The call for tenders, published in the Official Journal of the European Union, states that application deadline is March 19, 2018. All interested operators will have to meet specific requirements in order to become eligible for getting the licenses. The applicants must have a registered office in a country from the European Economic Area.

Furthermore, every interested entity will have to prove they are:

  1. a gaming operator which already operates in the EEA with a valid gaming license or provides at least one game approved by AMSS, with an overall gaming turnover in the last two years of minimum €1,5 million
  2. a gaming operator with an overall turnover in the last two years not exceeding €1,5 million or a company not performing in the gaming field, providing it submits additional documents to AMSS

As for financial requirements, every applicant fighting for one of 120 gaming licenses will have to pay a one-time license fee of €200K. The amount refers only to operators which will be awarded the license. Plus, all interested operators must provide a one-year first-demand guarantee for an amount of €100K. The Italian government is expecting a minimum of €24 million to enter the national budget.

Arranging the necessary documentation is the process that takes time, therefore certified translation of corporate documents and bank guarantees adjusted to a specific wording referring to Italian laws should be prepared well in advance.

The second step in the tender preparation is to review the technical documentation and to launch the platform. These Italian licenses are called “umbrella” and they cover a wide range of online games, but they are non-exclusive. This means that each game category needs to be additionally approved through a subsequent technical license.

The technical approval is impossible without the certification of the platform, online slots and other games. The entire process also requires the development and approval of a special communication between the operator and AMSS servers in real time. According to experiences from game operators, the whole protocol-related process lasts from 3 to 6 months.

The final step is to select a certification entity. Certifying a gaming account system and connecting it to the online casino’s platform is the following step of the journey. Once the operator is done with all the previous listed requirements, choosing the testing lab comes as the next condition.           

Excellent Opportunity for Newcomers

There is one more strong force that might benefit from the expansion of the Italian gambling market and those are online casino affiliate programs. Knowing that the licenses will be valid through December 31, 2022, the affiliates are also hoping to find their place on the online gambling map of Italy.

Even though it is expected that at least one third of all licenses will be awarded to the operators already present at the Italian market, the ongoing happening is the perfect chance for newcomers to grab their share of the gambling profit.

For that reason, providers such as Winamax, Pinnacle and Marathonbet have taken steps such as looking for the Italian-speaking staff to ensure they welcome the new market in the best possible way.

All interested parties are advised to check the additional administrative, technical, financial and procedural information released by the AMSS. Benvenuti in Italia!       

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