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Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato – the Italian Gambling Authority
Italy has one of the largest gambling markets in Europe. The gaming market in Italy was gradually liberalized from 2004 and privatized. Gambling policies for the country are heavily geared towards combating money laundering, tax evasion, and organized crime in general. Like other consumer protection aspects, the prevention of gambling addiction is only of secondary importance. The state regulatory authority Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS), or Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies in English, has extensive competencies in the licensing and controlling of gambling. The electronic recording of payment flows for slot machines and of betting at bookmakers by the AAMS plays an important role in the control mechanisms. All bookmakers' bets are electronically recorded centrally via a state control system. In Italy, an advertising ban applies to illegal gambling offers. IP blocking has been practiced since 2006 and there is a blacklist of illegitimate providers. This list is updated every 14 days and now includes around 4,800 sites. Italy's internet providers must block access to these operators for Italian players. At the same time, players are referred to internet portals that are approved in Italy.
Our American Players’ Favorite Italian Gambling Authority – Autonomous Administration of the State Monopolies - With Ratings! Updated January 2021
The problem Italy faced is that the EU criticized Italian legislation. Because the Italian laws excluded foreign competitors in particular and thus gave the state providers for gambling on the Internet an enormous advantage. This was especially true for lotteries and sports betting, but also for online casinos.
Initially, the Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS) was solely responsible for this area. However, in the year 2000, the Agenzia delle Dogane (Customs Agency) was founded, which merged with the AAMS in 2012 and thus became one of the three major tax authorities in Italy.
Now the Agenzia Dogane Monopoli (ADM) is responsible for taxes on tobacco products, customs duties on imports and exports, as well as the area of gambling. The problem with this was that there was a lack of clarity about the processes. Only due to another rule change in 2018, the structure of how the ADM should proceed with gambling-related matters could be improved. This slowed everything down initially but is starting to work more efficiently now.
This can be seen in the licensing of online casinos, which also slowly picked up speed from 2018 onwards. Since then, 120 licenses have been awarded – each of these brought in €200,000 in license fees. All of these licenses are valid until the end of December 2022. What happens after that, however, is not entirely clear. This is probably also due to the fact that the EU still does not completely agree with the current laws in Italy. However, to get one of the current licenses, the same strict regulations apply as can be found in other EU countries.
Responsible gambling is a big topic in Italy because Italians really love gambling, especially sports betting. This statement can be backed up with some numbers. With a turnover of more than €100 billion per year, it is one of the top three gambling countries in Europe. This is multiple times higher than in other EU countries. So, it's no wonder that player protection is of great importance here, too.
How exactly the Italian authorities want to take this in the future is not entirely clear yet. However, we can already see measures that are similar to other jurisdictions. Players can set up loss limits, deposit limits, and other restrictions to aid them in terms of responsible gambling. Of course, it is also possible to self-exclude from a gambling site in Italy, too.