In Italy, the organisation and operation of games with cash prizes are the exclusive purview of the State, which assigns their management to private companies, primarily by putting licences out to tender through the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency. At Sisal, like all companies in the gaming market, we operate exclusively through licences managed by the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency, the public entity tasked with the technical and operating activities that were previously the responsibility of the Italian Ministry of Finance.
The development of Payment Services is also regulated by the State. Specifically, following the enactment in Italy of the European directive known as PSD, Sisal Group became a Payment Institution and is subject to oversight and control by the Bank of Italy.
Institutional players in the gaming industry
We were the first private Italian State licensee in the gaming industry and have always engaged in an open and proactive conversation with the institutional players charged with its administration. Our goal is the sustainable and lasting development of an industry that has gradually been regulated, starting with lottery games, with the help of private companies that have taken control of games with cash prizes out of the hands of organised crime. Today, about 6,000 companies with 150,000 employees work in the industry and the regulatory process continues.
Our counterparty in the gaming industry is the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency, which took over management of the industry from CONI in 2002 and regulates the entire segment with three aims:
- to protect consumers
- to fight illegal gaming
- to guarantee tax revenue totalling about €10bn annually
The Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency not only defines the industry’s rules and guidelines, but also owns the game brands, for which it grants 9-year licences that can be withdrawn in the event of non-performance by licensees. In practice, this means that any type of activity relating to licenced games must receive prior approval from the Customs and Monopolies Agency. Carrying on an ongoing conversation with the Agency ensures that we always operate in compliance with the rules, and particularly those on the subject of responsible gaming and the prevention of problem gaming, and can guarantee the financial sustainability of the licence for its full duration.
The Customs and Monopolies Agency reports to the Italian Ministry of the Economy and Finance (MEF, Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze), whose duties include the regulation of the gaming industry and the approval by the Minister of each new product offered to consumers. The transparent relationship between our Institutional Relations Office and the MEF allows us to contribute to the balanced development of the gaming industry, protecting consumers and fighting illegal gaming.