March 28, 2024 3 min read


Italy’s MEF Discussing Upcoming Changes with Regional Execs

Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance is engaged in talks with regional executives across 20 autonomous regions and 100 municipalities on the application of the changes from the new gambling decrees

At the start of the year, Italy announced it was determined to revamp its gambling regulations by giving the green light to a new decree that would substantially revise all gambling laws in the country and adjust them to the current trends. 

Now, Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has announced it has initiated discussions with regional executives in 20 autonomous regions and 100 municipalities on the way the changes from the decrees meant to reorganize gambling would be put into practice.

Perfect Alignment Necessary 

The MEF has been instructed to make sure that the fresh federal laws on gambling will be perfectly aligned and implemented across all of the country’s autonomous regions and municipalities.

The changes will mainly have an impact on regional governments and they will regard the new regulations to be applied to retail gaming machines, betting shops, bingo halls, and arcades.

Some of the main topics of discussion in the current negotiation include the setup of the minimum distance requirements that will be established between gambling outlets and sensitive locations mentioned in regional laws. 

Similarly, the talks will need to also focus on the changes related to the opening hours of gambling establishments and the distribution of slot machines and gaming outlets throughout Italy’s municipalities. 

The main focus is still on finding ways to improve the quality-related standards of gambling venues instead of simply implementing stricter distance regulations in sensitive areas.

Demands for Standardized Minimum Distance 

The country’s autonomous regions have been lobbying for a standardized minimum distance. Current regulations that are in place in Italy vary between 250 to 500 meters from gambling venues to hospitals, schools, and other similarly sensitive public places.

As for the issues regarding “specific time restrictions” for gambling establishments, regional executives also mentioned that “closures during hours preceding major sporting events and lottery draws,” could potentially lead to important money losses for operators and the state.

The same executives have also asked the government to guarantee €300 million in yearly funding. The money would be used to monitor venues, utilize safer gambling practices, and boost the efficiency of problem gambling interventions.

Proposal Denied

Regional executives have expressed their concerns by submitting a proposal on the way the changes brought by the decree could be put into practice. 

The proposal was not approved by the MEF. Accordingly, the Treasury replied it would proceed to publish its recommendations on April 2.

For the time being, the MEF has remained optimistic about its ability to reach an agreement with regional executives and generate the needed framework for implementing all of the changes in the decree. 

The Italian government has also expressed concerns regarding the disruption of the gambling retail network, which brings approximately €10–€11 billion in annual tax revenue.

At the moment, the only point of consensus focuses on regional authorities’ support of the maintenance and strengthening of the current ban imposed on gambling ads.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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