Foreign operators seek ADM reassurances on licensing extensions

Italy’s ADM customs and monopolies agency faces a series of legal battles with foreign-based online gambling operators unless Italy’s government provides reassurances to operators allowing for licence extensions. 

Confusion reigns within Italian igaming, following the Senate’s refusal to review two separate appeals to extend online betting, casino and bingo concessions for a further 18-months up to December 2022.  

Legal certainty on extending concessions is required by a reported 30 online gambling incumbents, whose licences are set to expire by end of year trading.  

Italian betting news source AgiproNews has reported that Rome’s Lazio administrative courts have accepted separate appeals filed against the ADM by legal representatives of SportPesa, Betway and Nexigames.

Supporting its client SportPesa, Italian law firm Tonucci & Partners had filed an injunction against the ADM, prohibiting the agency from withdrawing its licence – due to expire at the end of October – and serving SportPesa a termination notice.

One of Italy’s newest incumbents, SportPesa secured its sports betting licence in 2017 by acquiring the defunct ‘RCS Gaming’ division from news publisher RCS Italia, the publishing group of Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere della Sera.

Lazio courts have allowed SportPesa and further incumbents to retain their licences up to a public hearing scheduled set for 4 November.

Of heightened concern, foreign operators seek clarity as to how licence extensions will be granted by the ADM and whether agency duties will be carried by Italy’s next Budget Law.

As appeals were rejected by the Senate Budget Committee, all amendments on the licence extensions for gaming will be transferred to hearing the Budget Law – in which the government may need to establish a new gaming decree as an absolute measure.

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