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Will the Italian Gaming Operators ever manage to pull their lobbying acts together?

September 13, 2013 News & Reports

By Quirino Mancini, Partner, Head of Sports, Media &Gaming Practice at SCM Lawyers, Rome

Over the last few months the Italian gaming industry has been heavily targeted, more than ever before, by the media whose bias, ill-information and populistic propaganda are simply stunning. Many politicians looking for visibility also promptly rode the media wave urging the government to freeze any release of new authorisations and licences to gaming operators but obviously omitting to say how to offset the ensuing shortfall in tax revenues that would immediately and substantially impact the Treasury’s budget if it did decide to anyhow downsize the gaming operations in Italy.

Such a cheap and deprecable campaign, notably mixing legitimate operators licensed by AAMS to dodgy, unlicensed ‘.com’ sites, would definitely command for a prompt, vigorous and united reaction by the legal gaming industry and in particular by the pure online gaming operators whose business is direcly and greatly hit by the unfair and illegal competition brought by the illegal offshore-based operators. Regrettably though, so far the industry has been quite simply unable to put together a consistent and coordinated initiative to redress the negative effects of the media’s discrediting campaign as well as lobby the Italian authorities (the Parliament, AAMS, the Public Prosecutor office, etc) to act more effectively and energically to protect their massive investments on the local market thus responding to their legitimate and justified expectations as premium taxpayers.

In the interest of the whole gaming industry it is hoped that the victims of this unfair situation will soon wake up and smell the (Italian) coffee and setting aside commercial rivalries and egocentric approaches, finally act with one head and two armed hands in every necessary direction.

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