Speaking to Italian business news sources, Bepi Pezzulli, the new General Counsel of SKS365, Italy’s leading bookmaker, has detailed insights of the stark realities facing all gambling incumbents, under the governance of the Lega-5Star coalition government.
Pezzulli forms part of a new SKS365 leadership team, who took control of the bookmaker in January, following a number of high-profile executive departures.
SKS365’s new Counsel outlines that in a short period of time Lega-5Star hostile Dignity Decree policies have impacted all active Italian betting incumbents – with Pezzulli outlining the far-reaching negative impact on Italian betting’s stakeholder value chain.
“The Italian political environment is unfavourable to the gaming industry, especially due to its mistaken communication strategy. There are many issues that have been overlooked such as lower league sports clubs and organisations living on sponsorships alone. The execution of the Decree has been poor on this aspect. It is of note that the regulated industry forms a protection against illegality” – Pezzulli details.
Mirroring the comments of Italian industry trade body LOGiCO, Pezzulli maintains that Lega-5Star’s Decree and advertising ban have been counterproductive in its mandate against bad actors.
“The ban does not help gaming companies to steer customers in legal betting shops instead of illegal networks”.
Facing a period of market uncertainty, combined with the continued regulatory trend of tougher gambling restrictions and penalties, Pezzulli notes that Lega-5Star has created an ‘unattractive marketplace’ for home and international investors.
“There are no investors who want to invest in an adverse environment, without forgetting structural disincentives such as high taxes, bureaucracy and legal uncertainty. It is a paradoxical situation because Italy is a great and rich market and it still ensures its operators a profit margin”.
Closing his statement, Pezzulli details SKS365 future movements, navigating what is perhaps European gambling’s toughest marketplace.
“We aim to strengthen our market leadership. In these moments of uncertainty that we are currently facing, the key is relying on quality, efficiency in our structures and transparency in our products, prices and offers”.