Spanish gambling group Codere SA has launched ‘CODWIN’, its new Italian market AWP games (fruit machines) distribution unit, formed by the merger of its shareholdings in subsidiaries Gap Games Italia and FG Slot.
Italian industry news sources report that the launch of CODWIN, had been formally approved by Gap Games and FG Slot investors at an April shareholder meeting, allowing majority shareholder Codere Italia to form its new business unit.
Andrea Rigodanzo, former managing director of FG Slot, has been tasked with leading CODWIN, in which Codere Italia seeks to consolidate its Italian fruit machine businesses lowering operational costs.
“It is an extremely difficult time for the legal gaming sector, in particular for operators and supplier of gambling machines. Therefore, we decided to join forces and face the challenges that the market is imposing on us together.” – Rigodanzo explained to Italian media.
Year-on-year tax increase since 2014, have seen Italian gambling duties on slot machine wagering increase to 23.83% (2014 – 13%), reflecting a near 70% net duty on operating incomes imposed on gambling machine operators.
Further market headwinds saw the Italian government’s ‘2017 Budget Law’ sanction a 35% reduction in the number of slot machine licences allowed in Italy to 265,000 units.
The high costs of operating slot machines have seen many leisure and hospitality venues discontinue their licensing.
Codere has been active in the Italian gambling market since 2001, when the Bolsa Madrid firm acquired the eight bingo hall properties of Operbingo, moving to establish its presence in Northern Italy.
Facing significant market costs in 2019, Codere governance revealed that it was assessing all options with regards to its Codere Italia division.