Italy launched today a call for tenders for the distribution of online gambling licenses to interested operators, local gaming news outlet Agimeg reports. The call for bids was published on the Official Journal of the European Union.
Interested operators will have up to March 19 to submit their applications. They will have to pay a one-off fee of €200,000 in order to make sure that their application is valid. The Italian government is planning to issue 120 new licenses, which means that at least €24 million could enter the nation’s coffers from application fees.
Interested operators will be able to apply for licenses for every type of online gambling service that is legal under Italian regulations, including online sports betting, card games, slots, and bingo among many other.
The bids will be opened at noon local time on April 19 and will be reviewed in their order of submission from the first submitted all the way through the last. The winning bidders will be awarded concessions that will be valid through December 31, 2022. While most of the applications are expected to come from operators that are already present in the Italian market, there will also be some newcomers as multiple gambling companies have indicated interest in targeting players from that particular regulated jurisdiction.
Among other things, all applicants will have to meet one important condition – they will have to have physical presence in a country from the European Economic Area.
Newcomers in the Italian Online Gambling Market
Several operators have already expressed interest in entering the local market, with some of those being Winamax, Marathonbet, and Pinnacle. Winamax indicated that it would apply for a license in Italy early last year, when it began looking for Italian-speaking staff. In fact, the French operator, which is currently licensed only in its home country, is planning to expand in several more European jurisdictions this year in relation to its participation in the shared online poker liquidity project.
Here it is also important to note that the eventual opening of the call for tenders and the subsequent distribution of licenses will also make it possible for Italy to join the online poker project. First shared online poker tables are set to be launched within the next few weeks, but, as it became known, only French and Spanish tables will be allowed to play at those.
The Italian government was initially expected to publish the call for bids in mid-September 2017. However, without much explanation, the process was delayed up to today. First media reports that the call would be launched eventually appeared earlier this week when several Italian news outlets cited unnamed sources who had provided them with information about the ongoing preparations for the now ongoing bidding process.
Robert Johnson is an experienced web author and blogger. He has over three years of experience as a freelance journalist and writer.