Published: April 21, 2018

Italian Regulator Reveals Applicants for Online Gambling Licenses

Italy’s gambling regulator Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM) opened on Thursday the applications submitted by 70 gambling operators seeking to be issued a license to operate in the country or to have their existing license extended.

ADM announced last month that it had received 80 applications by the end of the application period on March 19. After opening all the envelopes it had received, the regulator said on Thursday that they were all valid, local gaming news outlet AGIMEG reports.

As mentioned above, a total of 70 gambling companies submitted their papers, with some of them applying for multiple licenses. The iGaming and betting licenses to be issued will be valid through December 31, 2022.

It is also important to note that all applicants were required to pay a one-off application fee of €200,000. The ADM has thus collected €16 million from the process.

Aside from the 80 new licenses to be granted, the Italian online gaming space will also be comprised of 45 licensees, whose licenses expired in June 2016 and were subsequently extended, as well as 47 licensees, whose licenses are valid through the end of 2022.

Some of the operators seeking a license from the ADM include bet365, PokerStars, Luckia, Videoslots, and Lottomatica. Here it is also interesting to note that some of Italy’s land-based casinos have also applied for a license for the operation of iGaming services.

Italy’s New Round of Licenses and the Shared Online Poker Liquidity Project

There have been several operators to have expressed interest in joining the shared liquidity project between France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal, and they all seem to have applied for a license from the ADM.

PokerStars, which is the only operator to be operating in all four jurisdictions, has submitted an application for an extension of its existing license through its local subsidiary Reel Italy. Here it is interesting to note that PokerStars’ online casino has established itself as the leader in the Italian market, holding a 9% share of it in March.

PokerStars was the first poker brand to launch shared tables as part of the shared liquidity scheme. In January, the operator merged its French and Spanish player pools to give an official start to the project. It is expected to open its PokerStars Europe network to Portuguese players by the end of this year’s second quarter. However, it is still unknown when exactly Italy will be ready to join the shared liquidity project.

Bwin Italia has submitted three applications and one of these could be for the operation of an online poker website. Partypoker, the online poker brand of Bwin’s parent company GVC Holdings, has previously said that it would participate in the shared online poker liquidity project. It still needs to obtain a license from SRIJ, the Portuguese online gambling regulator.

888’s Italian subsidiary Virtual Marketing Services Italia Ltd. has, too, applied for a license. 888 has also been among the operators to have expressed interest in the shared liquidity project.

Last but not least, French online gambling operator Winamax is expected to enter the Italian iGaming space through bet-at-home. Winamax bought the Italian license of the German betting and gaming brand, which is owned by Betclic Everest Group. Betclic is among the operators to have applied for a license extension to the ADM.

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