Italy’s AWP rehaul set to cause chaos in Sicily

Italy’s AWP rehaul set to cause chaos in Sicily

Thursday, December 21, 2017 Posted by Michael Lawson
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The amount of machines is set to drop significantly.

Italy is in the midst of major changes to its AWP machines, with each of its 21 regions given more autonomy in relation to gambling laws, as well as a rewritten agreement with regard to the regulation of machine distribution.

This extension of power is set to affect Sicily, a region far more susceptible to organised crime and illegal gambling operations, far more than other regions. Historically, Sicily has many differences in its background from the rest of the country, and it is believed that this wrest of power will lead to a considerable rise in illegal machines, as well as an increase in its number of illegal sports betting “corners” in gambling venues.

Furthermore, the rewritten agreement between the government and regions entails a major reduction from the 400,000 legal AWPs operating in the country, and will see the figure fall by 34% (to 265,000) by April.

Quirino Mancini, Head of Global Gaming Practice at Tonucci & Partners, told TotallyGaming.com: “The recent legislative changes entailing a drastic reduction of the slot machines currently in operations are more the result of a delicate, long and complex political bargaining between central government, regional and municipal authorities than the result of a well-thought, economically and logistically sound and balanced reorganisation of the situation on the ground.

“2018 will be election year in Italy and the consensus-gaining exercise is already well underway. Hitting hard the already battered gaming sector is very politically correct.”

Totally Gaming says: The current AWP situation in Italy is fairly chaotic to say the least. The federal government, weak and bereft of credibility, has wrested power to the 21 regions, in a move that experts expect to affect the island of Sicily considerably. The increased autonomy has the potential to give the green light to the already prominent illegal machine industry, and could have a lasting effect on Sicily’s AWP trade.

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