The topic of this summer in the Italian gaming market relates to the Stanleybet claims brought against the decrees regulating the issue of new Italian remote gaming licenses (the so called "Comunitaria decree"). No official statements have been issued but apparently Stanleybet brought two claims against the decree regulating the award of the new licenses and against the Comunitaria decree because they allege (again!) their lack of compliance with the EU principles. The reaction from the Italian Gaming Authority, AAMS, was to precautionary suspend the issue of new licenses up to the hearing on the interim suspension of the decrees that is expected to take place between the end of August and the beginning of September. The outcome of the dispute is still uncertain and I have read some catastrophic previsions about the potential interruption of the offering of cash poker and casino games also by the current licensees. My personal view is that even if there is a dependancy between the Comunitaria decree and the offering of the new games AAMS did a great job in setting out the new Italian licensing regime which couples: a better compliance with EU principles that is showed for instance by the fact that now license holders can be based in any EEA country and have their infrastructure located therein with a better protection for players and more clear rules for operators. The arguments raised by Stanleybet are not publicly known but the general opionion in the market is that this last attempt from Stanleybet will not be successful, from mid-September AAMS will start issuing the first new licenses and there will not be any impact for the current licensees. As a consequence it is not time to relax, operators interested in obtaining an Italian license should start collecting the relative documents for the licence application and working on their platforms! In this respect, if you want to know more information on the Stanleybet case or on the Italian licensing process, feel free to contact me, Giulio Coraggio.
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