EUROMAT president pleads for 'evidence based policy' in Italy

EUROMAT president pleads for 'evidence based policy' in Italy

Thursday, November 2, 2017 Posted by Joseph Streeter
Frost used the Rome meeting to reach out to decision makers

At the Executive Committee meeting of the The European Gaming and Amusement Federation (EUROMAT), the group’s members were updated on the current progress to regulatory developments in Italy.

The meeting, which took place in Rome, was the first meeting since the governing body’s new corporate membership acquisitions, and took place as part of President David Frost's plans to bring the association closer to its members.

The Italian gambling industry is going through a period of change, as the government not only plans to increase taxes on betting operators, but also to cut the amount of AWPs (NewSlots gaming terminals) that are allowed in the country.

It has been reported that in the next budget released by the Italy’s Ministry of Finance, taxes paid by land-based betting operators will increase from 18% to 19%, whereas the current online tax rate of of 22% is due to be increased from its current rate of 22% to 23%. It is believed that these looming new regulations played a big part in Paddy Power’s decision to take its operations out of the country.

Furthermore, imminent tax hikes aren’t the only setback for gambling operators in the country, as the government looks set to slash the number of AWPs in the country from 410,000 machines to around 265,000.  

Frost used the meeting in Rome as an opportunity to plead with decision makers that whatever alterations are made to gaming laws are made using an ‘evidence based policy'.

Frost commented: “Developments in Italy underline how important evidence based policy is. The AWP market is set for another hit in Italy but this does not seem to be based on a serious risk assessment.

“Ultimately regulators and our members want the same thing: a regulated market that protects players and encourages responsible businesses. We all need to get round the table together and focus on finding balanced regulatory approaches which give our sector some certainty.”

Looking ahead, Euromat has announced its next Executive Committee meeting on 5 February 2018 will be held at London’s iconic Hippodrome Casino in London’s Leicester Square.

Totally Gaming says: In many ways the turbulence in the Italian gambling industry is similar to what is going on with the industry in the UK; in both cases, gaming terminals are at the forefront of discussions, with figures at the center of both debates also both calling for evidence to be the decisive factor in any industry changes made. 

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