Online Casino Licence in Italy
The Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (The Customs and Monopolies Agency, ADM) issues licences for the operation of online casinos, bookmakers, lottery and bingo offices in Italy.
Each region (Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli dello Stato or Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies) regulates the sphere of virtual entertainment in its own way. To authorise a new operator, the state asks for tenders. The last one was held in 2017 and there is no specific documentation for obtaining a permit.
Once the operators have submitted their tenders, the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli announces the winner who is then authorised to:
- offer gambling services
- manage sites where visitors play (bet) against each other or against slots
The sale of lottery tickets is monopolized by the state, as is bingo.
The Customs and Monopolies Agency was created by Legislative Decree No. 300 on the 30th of July 1999. This is one of the three tax authorities that provide technical and operational support for various branches of trade, industry and business. The unit previously belonged to the Ministry of Finance.
The Customs and Monopoly Agency is a public legal entity with its own legal status and structure. It possesses regulatory, administrative, organisational, accounting and financial autonomy.
On the 1st of December 2012 (in accordance with decree No. 95 of the 6th of July 2012 and law No. 135 of the 7th of 2012), the customs agency created an autonomous Administration of the State Monopoly. In April 2018, the Ministry of Economy and Finance radically restructured the organisation, its functions and mission. This ultimately eliminated the division between the customs and monopoly zones.
ADM objectives are specified in the Bylaws that became effective on the 26th of April 2018:
- Promote the economic growth of Italy and facilitate trade and international trade.
- National tax regulation, protection of the financial interests of the country and the European Union as a whole (collection of taxes and the fight against tax evasion and fraud).
- State supervision of the gambling business, representing the interests of the treasury and protecting the rights of citizens through the licensing of gambling businesses.
- Assistance in ensuring public health and safety, control of goods imported into the European Union, combating criminal activities (smuggling, counterfeiting, money laundering, illegal circulation of weapons, drugs, food and medicines).
Functions of Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli:
- administration of customs duties, internal taxation of foreign goods, collection of excise duties, taxation and management of litigation
- management of customs services to comply with the norms of the European Union Customs Code, agricultural policy and general commercial activities
- regulation of the gambling sector (licensing of Italian casinos, monitoring the proper fulfillment of obligations by operators and software providers and combating illegal gambling)
- management of the tobacco production sector and supervision of legal compliance
- control of payment of taxes, analysis of crime, conducting inspections and investigations by the tax and judicial police
- management of chemical laboratories
ADM operates under the principles of fairness, transparency and impartiality. The activity is carried out in accordance with the legislative decree of the 8th of April 2013.
Licensees are required to follow Italian law. When a complaint is made against an online casino operator the ADM initiates an investigation. If violations are found, the licensee has to answer to the tax and judicial police. The state imposes a fine or cancels (suspends) the licence until the end of the proceedings.
The licence issued by ADM allows online casino operators to operate within the country. It is not a cross-authorisation, so a company must obtain licences from other countries to enter the international market.
Payout percentages depend on the type of game:
- Poker and skill - from 80%. The probability of winning is determined by the number of prizes divided by the number of participants (for example, in a tournament of 100 people with 30 prizes, the probability of winning is 30%).
- Card - at least 90%. The probability of winning for each game is 1 divided by the number of players.
- Against the dealer (live games) - from 90%.
- With fixed odds - from 90%.
For the rest of the games, the winning payout percentage should be the same as in a land-based casino.
For holders of a licence for online casinos, from the 1st of January 2019, the state increased the single tax (Law No. 145/2018):
- for games of skill and bingo - 25% of the total bets minus winnings
- for bets with a fixed odds (except for bets on horse racing) - 24% of the difference between the amounts played and the winnings paid out
- for bets with fixed odds on simulated events - 22% of the payout amount
If the entertainment does not fall into any of the categories presented above, the tax rate for a land-based establishment is applied.
How to get an Online Casino Licence in Italy
In the past few years, licensing tenders have been opened for Italian and international EU operators. The list of documents that must be submitted to obtain an online casino licence in Italy LINK differs depending on the activities of the future licensee and the type of tender.
Unauthorised operators (Italian and foreign), cannot offer online games in Italy as the ADM will block their website. There are currently more than 7,000 sites that have been blocked. The most recent list of licensees was updated in 2017 and contained an additional 12 licensees.
The Law that was passed in 2017 requires the gradual reduction in the number of slot machines and in the last 3 years their number has decreased from 400,000 to 265,000.
Customs and Monopoly Agency:
- keeps track of the location of companies' servers
- blocks sites (within 6 months after the termination of the corresponding permission)
- reviews the messages of users about the inconsistency of the online casino page or software
Licensees and players are required to comply with Italian laws and privacy and data protection regulations.
No, but the request for tenders is announced by the state. Both private and state-owned companies can become a licensee.
Yes, if they are registered in the EU.
Not if they are not officially registered in Italy or the EU.