Less legal gaming, more illegal gaming: Censis data rejects prohibition

The regulatory trend of recent years on legal gaming does not seem to convince Italians: the latest Censis-Lottomatica report confirms the equation less legal gambling, more illegal gambling. The 2019 estimates were of a value of around 12 billion euros of crime-controlled gaming, in 2020 it rose to 18 billion (+ 50%) and by 2021 the risk is to breach the 20 billion euro ceiling.

For years now, a real reorganization of the legal gaming sector has been advocated. The goal is make municipal regulations and ordinances more homogeneous to arrive at a law that takes into account public health and the needs of local authorities without, however, opposing the work of legal operators, who act strictly under the concession of the State. T.The delicate issues are also that of competitions, with the need for an extension for the concessions of the operators currently active, and how to access the game: thousands of rules scattered throughout the ‘milleproroghe’ and simplification decrees that Marcello Minenna, director of the Customs and Monopolies Agency, recently asked to review and rearrange.

“The Consolidated Law on gaming is now an urgency and no longer just a necessity – he declared Ranieri Razzante, President of Aira, Italian Association of Anti-Money Laundering Managers and Professor of Financial Intermediation and Anti-Money Laundering Legislation at the University of Bologna – In terms of anti-money laundering, we are ahead of other European countries: let’s stop considering the sector as a recycling producer, because it has very high technical standards of compliance with the legislation referred to in Legislative Decree 231/2007; this is evidenced by the number of SOS at the UIF-Financial Information Unit for Italy by gaming companies. The closure of current accounts to agencies and companies in the sector remains scandalous, in application – clearly incorrect – of the rules provided for in the money laundering prevention regulation. Due diligence cannot lead to arbitrary closure of relations with banks: this is the result of prejudices spread by a certain press and by some political forces, which should better investigate the data, which are still worrying for mafia infiltrations but in illegal gaming, less so in the legal one “.

“After so many tribulations, insurmountable problems and sometimes incomprehensible and perhaps useless restrictions, something positive can be seen on the horizon of the gaming sector. Indeed, it is a good sign the start of the work of the newly established parliamentary commission of inquiry into illegal gaming and the dysfunctions of public gaming and the appointment of the Bureau, both for the quality and experience of the persons indicated and for the political will of Parliament to investigate the issues related to the difficulties of those who operate legally and are forced to face unfair competition and advance of organized mafias ”, comments Riccardo Pedrizzi, President of the Finance and Treasury Commission of the Senate (2001-2006).

To regulate the offer of the game, to strongly oppose the illegal game and to approve a single text on the games: these are the elements to combat gambling disorder, protect players and help the entire sector, he adds Mauro Maria Marino, President of the Senate Commission for Inquiry into Public Gaming. In recent weeks the work of the Commission has come to life with the hearings to two of the most representative institutional subjects in the sector: the Undersecretary for the economy with responsibility for games, Federico Freni, and the ADM Director, Marcello Minenna. The goal is to achieve a reform of the sector, continuing what was started in the last Legislature, defining and putting order in the competences and regulations at national, regional and municipal level “.

Reforming the game system starts from the premise that it must develop a culture of legality and legal play, as repeated several times by the National Anti-Mafia Prosecutor, Cafiero De Raho, in his latest speeches, because the sector represents a market to which the underworld looks with great interest.

“In Italy the collection of gambling with cash prizes is reserved to the State and it is entrusted by the latter in concession to private companies. The objectives that the State has intended to pursue through this system are different: to fight crime and consequently bring out taxes to be allocated to the community; protect the player from possible fraud; prevent and combat pathological phenomena related to gambling – he explains Marco Zega, Director of Finance and Institutional Affairs of Codere Italia – The role of dealers must be considered decisive for the protection of consumers and a real barrier to crime. We operate on behalf of the state but we are too often pointed out as criminals. Having recreational players is a problem for those who do our job. For this reason, we have always been at the forefront to try to prevent and combat these phenomena. We are therefore pleased to participate in the “Time is money” campaign put in place by the ASL TO3 and to give all the support necessary to achieve what is a common purpose: to work so that the game with cash winnings always remains and just a form of entertainment. To continue to offer the community a safe service, and the state the right tax revenue, however, we need the government to reorganize the sector by implementing laws and regulations adopted with the sole purpose of expelling the legal offer from the territory, without considering that this leaves room for illegal bidding and, therefore, without bringing any benefit in the fight against gambling addiction “.

Codere is a gaming operator with an international reference, with presence in seven countries of Europe – Spain and Italy – and Latin America – Argentina, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Uruguay, which manages entertainment machines, bingo stations and terminals. sports betting through betting points that include gaming rooms, recreation rooms, approximately 9,200 bars, betting rooms and racecourses. The Company also develops online gaming.