Italian authorities to clamp down on illegal gambling operations

9 October 2014

Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan has unveiled a series of new measures to help keep consumers in the country safe from illegal gambling operations.

According to the website, Italian tax authorities will launch an investigation into illegal gaming rooms in the country that have not had a licence issued by the Autonomous Administration of the State Monopolies (AAMS) national regulatory body.

In cases of suspicious transactions, operators and the players involved with such services will face an immediate fine.

The investigation will stretch across the entire gambling spectrum and will cover all forms of gambling, including poker.

The move comes shortly after a document entitled ‘Report on tax evasion’ was presented to the Italian Council of Ministers to help encourage further action over suspicious transactions on illegal gambling websites.

Although this report will later be submitted to the Italian Parliament and enacted into law, the implementation of measures included in the document will require cooperation with other Italian institutions and European Union member states.

A recent report by the Department of Finances showed that Italy loses around €122 million ($156 million) in taxation due to illegal gambling operations in the country.

The national government has suggested a stronger collaboration with international banks and financial institutions to help stem such losses.

Meanwhile, UK-based online gaming operator PKR has announced that it is to cease operations in Italy and withdraw from the country’s regulated internet poker market.

In a message posted online earlier this week, PKR said that its Italian platform will no longer be available as of October 7.

“Starting from October 7, it will no longer possible to proceed with new deposits or to play at the room's tables," PKR’s message said.

“We will now focus our efforts on markets which can more efficiently drive our business forward.”

A message sent to PKR’s affiliates said that it would not be viable for the firm to continue operating in Italy.

Existing PKR players in the country will still be able to access their accounts to withdraw any remaining funds.

Related article: Italian regulated online poker market continues to suffer