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Online Gambling in Italy, Quirino Mancini (Tonucci & Partners) shares insights in an exclusive interview

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Just last week the Italian gaming news agency Agimeg reported that Italy’s gambling regulator had so far received “less than 10 applications” for the new licenses, which cover mostly all gambling activities – sports and race betting, casino, poker, exchange betting, virtual sports, etc.

The licenses cost €200k apiece and are valid through 2022. Applicants must already hold an online gambling license in a European Union member state and boast annual turnover of at least €1.5m over the past two years. If applicants can’t meet these standards, they have to put up an additional €1.5m bank guarantee.

My latest interviewee is among the leading lawyers in Italy. Quirino Mancini is Partner and Global Head of Gaming & Gambling Practice at Tonucci & Partners.

Thank you for accepting this interview. My first question would be what are your expectations from the call for bids from online gaming operators? How will this change the Italian gaming industry?

Quirino: Judging by the first enquiries I have gathered since the announcement of the new licence tender, it would seem that notwithstanding the Italian market is already packed, there still are operators willing to enter it. This applies not only to B2C operators but to B2B ones too, even though unlike, most European regulated markets, the Italian licensing model does not require B2B operators to hold a local licence in order to offer their services, so if the trend is confirmed I reckon the Italian market will be somewhat re-shaped as a result of the advent of the “hybrid” operators (B2C+B2B).

The launch of the bidding process was expected much earlier. What hindered the launch, and does this have any effect on the process of bidding?

Quirino: The only reason for an otherwise inexplicable delay in calling the remote gaming licences tender is the quite populistic and very often ill-informed political pressure, notably across the whole parliamentary board, to restrict the gaming offer. Unfortunately the local gaming industry has so far proven unable to pull their acts together in terms of putting together a consistent, coordinated and effective effort to somehow redress the mounting wave of discredit and bias thrown at operators who are fully legal, legitimate, licensed and do pay taxes in Italy as if instead they were a bunch of offshore-based pirates ripping and abusing the poor Italian consumers.

There are several online gambling licenses which have already entered the Italian iGaming market and now only require the renewal of their licenses. My question is what is your opinion how difficult this process will be for the rest of the applicants?

Quirino: The licence tender process is all but difficult provided the prospective applicants duly meet the eligibility requirements and take timely action filing-wise. The real challenges for them, once licensed, are (i) going live in less than one full year bearing in mind the many technical peculiarities and specificities of the Italian remote gaming model that notably entails a 24/7 connection of the operator’s servers with the central control system ran by the regulator, (ii) having a good product fit and also customised for the local players, and (iii) having a clear vision for an effective and creative marketing strategy.

The delay in the online gaming licensing might have had an effect on the shared online poker liquidity agreement signed by Italy as well. What is your opinion regarding this problem?

Quirino: I believe that when it comes to shared international liquidity, the more newcomer operators join the party, the better it is for the players in terms of creating a sufficiently large pool.

It has recently been announced that Italy will not join the official start of the project. Will you, please share your ideas related to this issue?

Quirino: On 4 March 2018 general elections will be held in Italy. As already mentioned in a previous reply, at this time there definitely is too much focus, bias, propaganda, mis-information and pressure surrounding the gaming business for any sensible politician to want to be seen as the one who facilitated the offer of more gaming services to Italians, and because regulators take instructions and directions from the government and the parliament, you may easily figure out the rest of the story

To meet Quirino in person, make sure you register and attend Prague Gaming Summit 2018, held on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague.

Interviewee profile:

Quirino Mancini is the global head of the gaming and gambling practice at Tonucci & Partners(www.tonucci.com), a top-ten Italian general practice firm with offices in Rome, Milan, Brescia, Padua, Florence, Tirana, Bucharest and Belgrad.

Quirino is one of the leading Italian gaming and gambling lawyers with a specialist practice of almost 20 years.  He acts for Italian and foreign-based online and land-based companies operating in the Italian gaming market, advising them on legal, licensing, regulatory, day-to-day compliance and any other operational aspects connected to their activities.  He also runs a bespoke matchmaking and business strategy service to provide clients with a customised type of assistance that includes also introduction and facilitation of dealings with the local regulatory authorities, banks as well as scouting and suitability checks on potential business partners.

Quirino is a regular speaker at most international gaming conferences and sits in the editorial board of various sector reviews and magazines.

Co-founder and editor of www.gaminglaw.eu, a pan-European information and commentary portal focusing on legal and regulatory issues under European and national gaming laws.

Secretary and fellow member of the Leadership Committee of the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), a worldwide organisation gathering regulators, lawyers and advisors, in-house counsels and educators engaged in the gaming business.  Fellow member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA)


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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DAO.Casino is launching Sandbox for game developers

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Game developers will be able to become pioneers in the development of decentralized games for the gambling industry using DAO.Casino protocol.

 

On September 17, 2018, DAO.Casino is opening Sandbox for developers, independent teams and game development studios that choose to harness the power of the rapidly developing DApp industry.

Since Monday everyone may submit their application for Sandbox on the official Sandbox page.

The Sandbox project is designed by DAO.Casino developers. Participants of Sandbox will learn the basics of decentralized applications development on DAO.Casino protocol. Developers participating in Sandbox will learn to create, design and deploy decentralized games and applications on Ethereum blockchain.

DAO.Casino is planning to reward most active developers for their constructive feedback on the improvement and optimization of the SDK and related documentation. The company will separately announce the details of the rewards program later this fall.

“We are confident that the Sandbox project will play an important role in our collaboration with studios and independent game developers. We cannot wait to see our product helping developers unleash their creative and entrepreneurial talents and apply those to one of the most groundbreaking technologies of the XXI century. — states Ilya Tarutov, CEO, DAO.Casino. – I am sure that the products we’re developing will transform the online gambling into a fair and transparent industry for all of the involved parties: casino operators, developers, and affiliate marketers. “

“We are launching the Sandbox with the goal of enabling as many developers as possible to learn to create decentralized games. We have achieved an important milestone by starting to accept applications from developers all around the world who share our idea to make online gambling fair and transparent. With our technology, developers can take the whole gambling industry to the next level” – says Alexandra Fetisova from DAO.Casino.

DAO.Casino disrupted the online gambling industry in 2017 by starting the development of the protocol based on Ethereum blockchain technology. DAO.Casino protocol ensures the automation of transactions and facilitates interactions between all the industry participants: casino operators, game developers, and affiliate marketers. DAO.Casino team is fully dedicated to developing the best products and making the gambling industry a better place.

 


Source: European Gaming Media

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Big Time Gaming licences patented mechanic to Storm Gaming

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Big Time Gaming licences patented mechanic to Storm GamingReading Time: 1 minute

 

BTG licences its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to UK-based developer Storm Gaming Technology Ltd

 

Pioneering online slot developer, Big Time Gaming, has struck yet another deal to licence its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to Storm Gaming. Storm Gaming will be combining this with some of its brand licenses including I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, The Chase and Tipping Point to take its slots to the next level and deliver a superior player experience. The partnership will allow Storm Gaming to design and develop its own games using MegaWays™, which debuted in Big Time Gaming’s Dragon Born over three years ago.

Blueprint, another licensee of MegaWays™ has had great success leveraging BTG’s ground breaking IP, and Storm are sure to follow suit with a range of interesting products penned for land-based and online deployment Q1 2019.

MegaWays™ is a random reel modifier system that allows any given spin to produce a different number of symbols across the reels, allowing players to experience a totally different game with every spin. Big Time Gaming has cornered the market with this innovation with games like Bonanza, White Rabbit and Extra Chilli, and will be launching Who Wants to be a Millionaire in November – the most anticipated branded slot launch in history.

Nik Robinson, Big Time Gaming CEO, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing how Storm use the MegaWays™ mechanic. Storm has some highly entertaining IP licenses that will work seamlessly with MegaWays™.”

Steve Murray from Storm Gaming, said: “The MegaWays™ concept is remarkable; it provides for and delivers exciting game play on a whole new level. “We shall be using MegaWays™ on new Storm concepts and licensed IP with a number of launches set for the coming months.”


Source: European Gaming Media

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AGA Releases New Research On Economic Impact Of Gaming Industry

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AGA Releases New Research On Economic Impact Of Gaming IndustryReading Time: 1 minute

 

Report shows 9.5 percent increase in economic output; industry now supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide

 

the American Gaming Association (AGA) released a new study examining the striking impact the gaming industry has on the U.S. economy – providing stable jobs to nearly two million Americans and generating billions of dollars in tax revenue. This is the first comprehensive report on the gaming industry’s national economic impact since 2014.

Oxford Economics’ 2018 study found that the U.S. gaming industry:

  • Contributes $261 billion to the U.S. economy, a 9.5 percent increase since 2014;
  • Supports nearly 1.8 million jobs, up from 1.7 million jobs in 2014; and
  • Generates $40.8 billion in tax revenues to federal, state and local governments.

“Gaming companies across the country are enabling long-lasting careers for their employees and making a huge impact on their communities through innovative partnerships with local nonprofits, volunteerism and the generation of revenue that supports critical services. The industry’s tax revenue alone provides enough funding to hire 692,000 new teachers,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association. “Since our last study in 2014, casino gaming has expanded into new markets, offered innovative new entertainment options and enhanced its position as a key contributor to local, state and federal economies.”

The research was commissioned by AGA and conducted by Oxford Economics. More information about the study can be viewed here.

About AGA: 

The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.


Source: European Gaming Media

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