The Italian Parliament has approved a motion that instructs the Government to issue a 12-month ban for both online gaming and land-based gaming systems located in a public place.
According to Giulio Coraggio of DLA Piper Italy, despite the motion being approved, the country’s Ministry of Finance immediately issued a statement that said any such motion is inapplicable and would create problems.
The Ministry cited a number of consequences that the State may have to deal with if it were to be put in place.
More than 200 operators have obtained a nine-year licence in the country. The payment of a relevant fee and considerable investments associated with this could lead those companies to process indemnity claims towards the State.
In addition, the measure may be deemed in contravention with European trade and freedom of services principles and could be challenged by the European Court of Justice as a result.
The closure or inactivity of regulated operators could also lead to an increase in activity on the Italian gambling black market.
Meanwhile, the country could also face significant losses in tax revenues if the ban were to come in to place. Taxes from the Italian gaming market for the first six months of 2013 totalled €7.5bn (US$9.4bn).