Valérie Peano, Attorney-at-Law at European Gambling Lawyers & Advisors, provides an overview of the recent tender procedure published for 120 remote gambling licences in Italy, which allows companies to apply for a remote gambling licence until 19 March 2018. Once this period expires, a further tender for licences will not occur again until December 2022.
The tender procedure for the collection and exercise of remote gambling in Italy was finally published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 10 January 20181 in accordance with Directive 2014/24/EU. This article aims to provide a snapshot of the context, procedure and the main requirements.
This tender procedure was already announced in the Budget Law for 20162, which was voted through on 28 December 2015, wherein the main requirements were set out, such as the type of procedure with the contracting authority being the gambling regulator, Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli ('ADM'); the total number of licences being increased up to 120; their price (200,000) and their expiration.
It is no surprise that the legal framework of reference is the current one that was set up in 2009 by primary law3 and through a series of secondary regulations.
Each remote gambling licence allows an operator to offer all the remote games currently offered in the gambling portfolio of the ADM4.
Present and future operators therefore have a clear framework for operating their business. Today, there are more than 80 remote gambling operators offering their remote gambling services in Italy. However, since the publication of the tender has been long awaited, roughly half of these licences have already expired and were extended until this tender procedure upon the operator's commitment to participate in this new tender. Although this procedure does not provide for any kind of facilitation for previous licence holders, such participation reduces the total number of licences available for newcomers.
Requests to participate must be submitted to the ADM in closed envelopes before 19 March 2018. The 'first come, first served' principle applies for the granting of new remote gambling licences by the ADM, with the ADM to examine the requests - in the chronological order in which the requests were received - from 19 April 2018.
Price is not the only criterion for awarding a licence and all criteria are set out in the procurement documents, which have been published on the ADM's...