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Almost 80 online gambling license applications were submitted to Italy’s gambling regulator, local news outlets reported on Monday citing sources from the regulatory body.
Agenzia delle dogane e dei monopoli, the country’s regulatory body tasked with overseeing its gambling industry, launched a call for bids for online gambling licenses in January after months of delays. The process was expected to commence in mid-September 2017.
The regulator eventually opened a competition process for 120 licenses in early 2018 and set a March 19 deadline. According to Italian news outlets, around 80 applications were submitted before the deadline ran out. However, that figure is not final, as at least one online gambling operator is understood to have applied for an extension of the application deadline. What is more, the number of applications could increase as the necessary papers might have been sent through the post.
As part of the application requirements, all applicants had to pay a one-off fee of €200,000. The ADM will thus collect at least €16 million from the process.
Regulators are set to open the bids at noon local time on April 19. They will be reviewed in order of submission from the first received to the last one. The winning bidders will be issued licenses for the provision of online gambling services that will be valid through December 31, 2022.
While the bidders for licenses are yet to be identified, it is believed that most of them are already operating in the Italian online gambling market and are seeking to have their licenses extended. However, several newcomers are expected to extend their footprint into the local market, including Marathonbet and Pinnacle.
It should be noted that while the ADM opened a bidding process for 120 concessions, that same number of applications is not likely to be reached, despite original expectations for great interest among both operators already licensed in Italy and newcomers.
Source: European Gaming Media and Events