Lottomatica/GTech and SNAI have informed the market that they decided to settle the fines imposed on Italian videolottery concessionaires referred in this post paying an amount between 25% and 30% of fines initially awarded.
This situation might put under pressure operators such as B Plus which is currently managed by a trustee and is the company that would pay the highest amount and Codere whose group has recently avoided a bankruptcy proceeding which appeared quite likely. Also the Italian Chamber of Deputies recently approved an amendment to the decree providing the settlement which lowered to 20% the amount to be paid by operators that might make such option more attractive but would still represent a massive cost for B Plus whose initial fine was of € 845 million, while Codere should bear a cost of over € 20 million.
Additionally, such cost comes during a period when a number of regions in Italy have passed regulations setting considerable restrictions on the installation of gaming machines in terms of distance from schools and religious places, financial incentives to public places that decide not to install gaming machines and restrictions to advertising activities.
It is likely that the enforcement of such regulations will be challenged by operators as it is not clear whether they will apply only to new gaming halls or also to the existing halls that have already been authorized by the local municipalities, but this shows that the relationship between gambling companies and Governmental authorities will require a deep review in the near future.
We will see the future developments of the matter.