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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

Italy begins path to regulate internet gambling

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Bucking the trend in Germany and the US, Italy has reversed its stance on internet gambling and is now offering up to 17,000 licenses for online gambling businesses. With a hard-line prohibitionist stance as recently as this October, Italy has surprised and thrilled major players in the online gaming market with this reversal of policy, and some of those players are clamoring for the chance to buy Italian gaming licenses.

According to professional-poker.com, sources indicate that UK firms Betfair, William Hill and Ladbrokes are all among the frontrunners for Italian licenses. The 17,000 licenses will be auctioned off for betting shops, kiosks, casinos and online casinos and sports books. "Some of the U.K's largest operators already appear well placed to take advantage of the new laws across Europe. Gala Coral already operate an Italian-language site and a betting shop in Genoa, William Hill have entered into a venture with Spanish firm Codere and Ladbrokes completed a deal with Italian firm Pianeta Scommesse back in August, as well as buying three betting shops in Turin last month," reports the site on Tuesday.

Spain appears set to follow Italy's lead in this arena, with five-year licenses available for sale for online casinos soon.

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