When the Italian government decided to change its online gambling laws to include cash game poker, it was expected to be an easy process. However, the legislation process has been trying for all parties involved, as the draft gambling bill has been challenged by a number of authorities and companies.
The first problem was brought up by Microgame, the current network provider in Italy for poker games. The company notice inconsistency in the laws presented in December and those presented earlier in 2010 and asked for clarification on various issues in the legislation. The company also believed that smaller and medium-sized companies would be put at an unfair advantage, if required to obtain additional licenses by Italian gaming authorities.
After these initial issues were solved, the Italian gambling legislation met more resistance due to it’s proposed tax scheme. The Remote Gambling Association prefers that countries use a gross profit tax setup, but the legislation called for a turnover tax that would charge users rather than operators. Eventually, the two parties game to a conclusion, and the Italian gambling bill will now continue through the legislation process.
Unfortunately, the licensing process also presents some possible delays. Because operators must be tested to determine whether or not they meet the new requirements, poker players in Italy may be waiting for several more months before they can play the news games that the industry has to offer.