About Italian Licensing and Jurisdiction
The Italian government has given the power to handle the gambling industry to the Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stado (AAMS), or Autonomous Administration of the State Monopolies, which covers the online gambling sector by ensuring compliance and proper licensing to combat illegal activity. AAMS has full control of the monitoring and regulation of gaming, betting and lottery operations including games of chance since late 2006.
The Monopolies Area deals with public gaming and verifies the compliance of the licensees and of traders throughout the market on an ongoing basis. The same division is also responsible for the control activity on production, distribution and sale of manufactured tobacco. The Monopolies Area has more than 2,000 employees across several divisional offices.
The Licensing Process and AAMS
Those operators providing gambling services to Italian punters are required to obtain a license. Failure to do so will result in penalties. Once an application is submitted and approved, operators are required to follow stringent procedures related to the manner in which gambling services are offered, business practices and players accounts. The penalties for noncompliance include criminal charges, fines etc, so this tends to keep operators on the straight and narrow, which is an excellent benefit for Italian gamblers.
AAMS initially granted gaming licenses to operators located in Italy; however this procedure was eventually expanded to include those companies based within the European Union. There have been several changes in legislation over the years as the AAMS evolved into what it is today. In late 2006, AAMS was established and granted over 30 remote gaming licenses to operators including well-known companies such as William Hill, Ladbrokes and Unibet among others.
Italy passed legislation in February 2011, specifically the ‘Comunitaria’ decree, which made online casino and poker games available to punters.
Comunitaria encompassed online poker satellite and tournaments up to €250.
As a result of the decree, operators were now allowed to enter the Italian market, with proper licensing, to offer casino and poker games. Gaming platforms were, and still are, required to meet the standard requirements to operate in Italy. Operators submit platform specifics to AAMS and must notify the regulator at least 30 days in advance of their plans to launch such games. The operator is then given 90 days to meet the requirements outlined in the ‘Comunitaria’ decree.
Once a license is granted, the operator must undergo an authorization procedure with AAMS requiring previous certification of a platform providing casino games, card games and skill games.
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