Pinnacle, 1xBet among new Italian online gambling licensees


pinnacle-1xbet-italy-online-gambling-licensesItaly’s online gambling licensees now include Pinnacle and 1xBet, who may have a hard time raising local brand awareness under the market’s new advertising restrictions.

On Monday, Italy’s Agenzia della Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM) regulatory body issued its new official list of online gambling concession holders who have been granted approval to operate until December 31, 2022. The list includes 66 companies plus an additional four whose operations face certain restrictions.

Italy opened its latest online gambling license derby in January 2018, and the government originally expected to issue up to 120 permits. The licenses carry a price tag of €200k, and the government originally hoped to raise significantly more than the €13.2m it will realize from the actual number of permits issued.

The full list (viewable here) includes new arrivals such as Pinnacle, the Malta- and Curacao-licensed online betting giant that opted against pursuing a UK online gambling license last May. Apparently, Italy’s charms proved more alluring.

Also making the grade was 1xBet, the Russian operator whose Curacao-licensed operation attempted to strike an international betting partnership with Italy’s Serie A football league in 2017, only to have the Italian government nix the deal due to 1xBet’s lack of a local license.

It’s worth noting that Italy’s new licensees filed their applications before the government imposed its draconian new restrictions on gambling advertising and sponsorships, in addition to hiking taxes for both online and land-based gambling operations. But Italy’s market remains second only to the UK in terms of revenue, so it will be interesting to see if the new licensees follow through on their original plans.

The policy changes may have contributed to the 10 companies who either had their applications rejected or opted to withdraw their interest in Italy’s online market. Among these spurned suitors were French operator Betclic Everest Group and Spintastic’s parent Piper Ltd.

The four companies who received new licenses with certain restrictions applied were Scommettendo srl, Spati srl, Sogno di Tolosa Ltd and Betium parent Universal Solutions srl. Sogno di Tolosa operates Betn1, which was caught up in one of Italy’s seemingly endless probes of Malta-licensed operators but ultimately cleared of suspicion.

The ADM didn’t publicly specify what extra conditions would apply to the four restricted licensees, nor what they’d done to deserve a shorter leash. The ADM said it would communicate these details to each company privately.