Talking with the institutions
Talking with the institutions
Our Group is active in the gaming and payment services markets, two sectors subject to control and regulatory oversight by the Italian Government.

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:

  1. to protect consumers
  2. to fight illegal gaming
  3. 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the industry’s rules and guidelines, but also owns the game brands, for which it grants 9-year licences that can be withdrawn in the event of non-performance by licensees.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.

Institutional relations in the payment system industry

In 2011, with SisalPay, we were accredited by the Bank of Italy as a Payment Institution, a role recognised by the European Community to promote the use of e-payment tools as an alternative to cash. Like Credit Institutions, Payment Institutions too are subject to oversight by the Bank of Italy, can collect money on behalf of other companies, including power utilities, telephone companies and pay TV operators, and offer financial services like prepaid top-ups.

The relationship established with the Bank of Italy in the area of Payment Systems has allowed us to offer SisalPay services to Italians in our 44,870 retail points, as well as online and using mobile devices, and to work alongside banks and post offices as a neighbourhood channel that the public can use to make payments in a convenient, simple and secure way.

Payment Systems cover both transactions between private individuals and payments to the public administration. In 2017, we signed an agreement with the Agency for Digital Italy (AgID, Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale), the technical agency of the Prime Minister’s Office tasked with implementing the objectives of the Italian Digital Agenda. The relationship with AgID involves us as an innovative partner of the Public Administration in the development of the Payments Hub, the platform that connects public administrations with payment service providers. The conversation with the AgID means we contribute to the development of PagoPA, the most extensive e-payment infrastructure ever created in Italy, designed to make payments to the public administration simpler, more secure and more transparent.

PagoPA also introduced us to the Team for Digital Transformation, which was commissioned in 2016 to create simpler and more effective services for the public. Our contributions include proposals for the simplification of the duties system and the mobile first approach to services offered to the general public.

The Responsible Gaming Programme
The programme has been introduced with the aim of building a shared model of secure and reliable gaming that revolves around the prevention of problem gaming.
Play safe
The fight against illegal gaming represents a fundamental commitment in Sisal’s sustainability strategy.
Community support
In 2009, Sisal’s commitment to Social Sustainability produced a long-term Community plan in which a fundamental role is played by planning and the realisation of projects on a joint basis with qualified partners.