Italy has a long and profitable relationship with gambling in one form or another. During the Roman Empire, noble Romans and soldiers alike would wager on games like dice and a kind of backgammon. Sixteenth Century Italy was also theplace where one of the precursors for the game of Bingo was played. Today, the face of gambling has changed a great deal, and modern gamers can play a wide variety of casino games online from almost anywhere in the world. Italy is the first member state of the European Union (EU) to not only allow online gambling but also to create guidelines and regulations on how online casinos should be run.
Gaming licenses are something that Italy takes very seriously. All aspects of Italy’s gaming industry are currently overseen by the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli or ADM and the Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Strado or AAMS. These legislative bodies handle all of the licensing, management and enforcement for gaming in Italy.
If you are considering opening up an online casino business in Italy to offer a way for guests to play slots online, for example, there are several requirements and rules that must be met in the eyes of the ADM and the AAMS. These requirements cover all aspects of the business including what games are offered and how they are offered to prospective players, accounting and record-keeping and overall business practices.
Italian officials believe that such regulations are necessary for the interests of protecting players. Companies that violate the rules set out by the ADM and the AAMS can find themselves in a great deal of legal trouble, which can include both civil and even criminal charges, fines and imprisonment.
Types of Online Gaming Licenses Available in Italy
Italy offers three different types of gambling licenses to those interested in starting
an online gambling business. These include:
- Online Casino
- Online Lottery
- Sports Races Betting License
Required Licenses and Fees
Getting a gaming license in Italy has several requirements including several specific documents before the license is approved. These include:
- Documentation that the proposed online casino website has an .it domain name.
- Passports of all shareholders and partners in the founding company.
- Company location must fall within one of the member states of the European Economic Area or EEA.
- Documentation and bank certificates which show a legitimate bank account associated with the business.
- Official bank statements from the past two years showing that the company has had at least €1,500,000 within the gaming sector.
- Proof the company has a bank insurance guarantee of €1,500,000
- Proof that the company is financially sustainable.
- Documentation showing proof that the gaming software used on the site meets industry standards.
- A detailed business plan which includes the type of platform and description of all the games that are to be offered to players as well as proof that the company has sufficien infrastructure and ability to maintain the site and proposed online games.
Associated Costs with opening an online casino in Italy have put in place to ensure that casinos that are operating in Italy are substantial. These include the following:
- A €350,000 Licensing Fee
- A 20% Value Added Tax (VAT)
- The Italian Corporate Tax Rate of 27.5% and other gaming taxes and fees
- Online games are required to pay 0.6% of their turnover, while online bingo games must pay 11.5 of their gross revenue to the government.
- That founders and board members can demonstrate good moral integrity and have not violated any of the laws as applicable to gaming in Italy or the EU.
When a gaming license is granted in Italy, it is for a specific time period and is subject to review by the ADM and AAMS. The company has to have followed all applicable laws and regulations and have paid all required taxes and fees required by the license that their operations were issued for. The company operating the online casino must also show a commitment to the gaming industry. The amount that the company must pay in fees and taxes is adjusted each year to reflect the turnover of the operation.
Those granted a gaming license are required to pay players when they win. Failure to do so can result in the revocation of the gaming license.
While much of these regulations, rules, and fees may seem somewhat excessive, the period in which licenses are granted is relatively short compared to other licensing bodies. In addition, owning and operating a casino in Italy remains one of the best ways for a company to establish itself within the EU so that it can partner with EU based banking institutions.
Once such a reliable reputation is established, it creates the potential to further open the door to other gaming opportunities in other countries of Europe and the world.