History of gambling in Italy
Before exploring how regulations look like for online casinos, it is essential to touch on a few key events that led to the current situation. Gambling in Italy is traced back to the Roman Empire, and the first casino is said to be opened in 1638. Ridotto, the oldest Italian casino that influenced modern gambling halls, was ultimately shut down in the 18th century because of the mob-ties and other crimes. However, gambling only became exclusive, reserved for rich folks and gamblers.
Fast-forward to the 21st century, the Italian government made gambling legal in 2011, opening doors to domestic operators interested in opening an AAMS casino online. Before that, the EU, in 2009, ordered Italy to amend laws that allow foreign operators to offer online gambling for Italian residents. Italy also created a body (AAMS) to govern gambling operations in the region. All operators must obtain a valid license from AAMS (Amministrazione Autonoma del dei Monopoli di Stado Stato).
Before creating the AAMS, CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) and UNIRE (National Horse Breeders Enhancement Society) had exclusive rights to organize sports betting and online gambling. However, in 2003 a complaint was filed to the European Commission, highlighting that Italy did not allow legitimate EU operators to access the market. This led to a 2006 sanction that birthed the 2009 Abrizo decree that legalized online poker, casino games, virtual betting, remote betting exchanges and more.
The 2009 decree featured a gross profit-based flat tax rate of 20%, but this changed fast when, in 2011, new regulations introduced a minimum 90% payback of what operators collect from players. Italy has also made outstanding strides towards opening its market to legitimate operators in the EU and EFTA regions as well as other offshore jurisdiction as long as they obtain a valid license.
The Italian gambling license
The Italian gambling market was once only available to domestic operators until the European Commission intervened and forced the country to open doors to offshore jurisdictions. Punters in the region can enjoy products from all across the UK, US, Canada and several other areas. However, offshore operators must meet various requirements before obtaining a license from the regulatory bodies. This includes satisfying financial, technical, social and business requirements imposed by the governing agencies.
According to the 2011 decree, operators must pay a one-off fee of €300,000, in addition to satisfying all the requirements above. However, obtaining the Italian gambling license is more than just the conditions and fees. Interested operators must submit their applications to the AAMS within a 30-day window provided each year and have 90 days to fulfill requirements. AAMS will take three months to review applications and issue a license. After this, the operator has to finish an authorization process, from AAMS-certified accreditation bodies, for their gambling products.
The legality of online gambling in Italy
Is online gambling legal in Italy? This is the big question for most punters, and the answer is yes. Online gambling has been legal in Italy for quite some time, and the AAMS has issued over 160 active licenses to online gambling operators. Punters also have access to innumerable options offshore, as long as they meet the 2011 Comunitaria degree requirements. The Italian gambling market is highly regulated, and the government is strict on unlicensed ISPs. As such, you should only play on licensed platforms. The gambling regulation is also always facing improvements, opening the market for increased gambling activity, so you should keep tabs with the changing laws.
Gambling taxation laws
Italy's online gambling market is the second-largest in Europe, explaining why the country has a significant impact on the gambling culture around the world. Italy has seen a 25% rise in gambling operator revenue over the past few years, and the government is keen to get a share of the profits. The regulations also encourage new operators' entry both nationally and offshore, so you can expect the revenue to continue increasing.
The government previously taxed all gambling winnings above €500, which were subject to a 6% tax, set to increase to 10% in the coming years. Lottery winning taxes also move up to 8% from 6% on all gains above €500. Winning punters in Italy must declare their gambling income for tax purposes. However, if you are playing from abroad, you will end up paying little to no tax.
Legal forms of online gambling
Online gambling in Italy has been legal since 2007, although AAMS started issuing licenses in 2010. Virtually all kinds of online gambling are legal, except for betting on blood sport. The Abruzzo decree of 2009 legalized online poker, sports betting and fixed odds games of chance, AKA casino games. The legislation also introduced regulation for virtual betting and video lottery terminals. The legal forms of gambling in Italy include:
Online gambling in Italy has been legal since 2007, although AAMS started issuing licenses in 2010. Virtually all kinds of online gambling are legal, except for betting on blood sport. The Abruzzo decree of 2009 legalized online poker, sports betting and fixed odds games of chance, AKA casino games. The legislation also introduced regulation for virtual betting and video lottery terminals. The legal forms of gambling in Italy include:- Online sports betting (except blood sports)
- Online casino games (slots, table games, poker, craps, scratchcards, keno, Slingo, arcade, etc.)
- Live casinos
- Lottery and bingo
Italy is one of the renowned gambling nations with many land-based casinos and online platforms. The country has seen significant amendments to its online gambling laws over the past few years, resulting in the legalization of most gambling forms. As a punter, you should choose casinos and gambling platforms that hold a valid license from relevant authorities. Italy also welcomes offshore operators to provide casino products to its residents, so you can expect limitless options. Whether you prefer slots and table games, or fancy sports betting odds, Italy hosts a decent amount of legitimate online gambling operators with all kinds of gambling products.