Italy Launches Bidding process for Online Gambling Licensees

Staff Writer Industry News 1,443

Italy has launched the call for bids from online gambling operators in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Well Overdue

This launch was expected back in September 2017 but it was delayed due to the unknown circumstances.

Italian legislators have launched a bidding process for 120 licensees in online sports betting, card games, slot, bingo and other regulated gambling activities. Few conditions are necessary in order to submit a bid. Every operator has to have a physical presence in a country in the European Economic Area in order to qualify for the license.

All interested operators must pay $200,000 to participate and submit their bids until 19 March.

Submitted bids will be opened on 19 April at 12pm and then carefully reviewed in order of submission.  Revenue expected to be raised from this auction is $24 million. An issued license will be valid until 31 December 2022 so there is a great interest for this license auction.

Winamax, Pinnacle and Marathonbet have already expressed their interest for the Italian license. It is believed that 40 of the 120 licenses will be issued to operators that are already operating on the Italian market and now only require the renewal of their licenses.

Shared Liquidity Pool Delay

The delayed call for online gaming licenses was definitely one of the main reasons why Italy still hasn’t joined the official start of the project signed in July last year for a shared liquidity pool with Spain, France and Portugal.

Will issuing these licenses speed up Italian joining the shared liquidity pool is something we’ll have to wait and see.

Italian revenue from iGaming industry was 1.03 billion but poker alone did not perform well with 138 million. This is expected to change with unlimited competition opportunities. French and Spanish online gaming regulators have announced last week that the first shared online poker tables are expected to go live in the following weeks.

Spanish gaming regulator DGOJ has been the first to sign the Resolution in December and then the French regulator ARIER followed with the same news. Italy is preparing to join the project since the news emerged that operators 888 and PokerStars are preparing for the participation in the merging liquidity pool. Portugal is expected to join the project soon.

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