Amusement: the ‘Italy case’ is monitored in Europe


Amusement: the ‘Italy case’ is monitored in Europe

At the Eag Expo in London a conference dedicated to the “Italian case” of ticket redemptions, forbidden in some regions.

Next to the Italy of gaming that made an exemple (until some time ago) to the rest of the world in terms of regulation of public gaming, there has always been another face of the same country (and the same sector, or nearly) that, on the contrary, represented an anomaly compared to other States. That is the one concerning the regulation of the so-called “Amusement” sector, better known here as “pure entertainment”: that of gaming without cash prizes, consisting of arcade video games, table football, pinball machines and, above all, ticket redemptions. Those games that have always been in the arcades, bowlings and Fecs of our country, as in the rest of the world. Only in Italy this gaming segment has never found a final regulation (while touching it, some government ago, with the draft of a new legislation desired by the then undersecretary Alberto Giorgetti, but never really implemented), relegating the entire industry in a limbo made of mere administrative “tolerance”. A status that has always left the industry at the mercy of perpetual uncertainty, despite the repeated but obviously vain calls of the insiders.

A CRITICAL SITUATION – However, the situation has worsened a lot in recent months and years, with advancing populism and the spread of the “anti-gaming” battle, that has overcome every border, invading and compromising also the market of gaming without cash prices. Even if this represents – and should represent – an alternative to gambling and an offer without adverse reactions, that governments should encourage, instead of hindering, just to promote its spread. Instead, to everyone’s surprise, a smear campaign against this sector started for some time, targeting, in particular, ticket redemptions, accused of “inducing children towards gambling”. A matter that our readers know well, having always given great space to this issue and this illogical institutional battle, carried out by some local administrations. Up to a series of restrictions and prohibitions, such as those adopted by Emilia-Romagna, Friuli, Veneto and then Tuscany. With the risk that this practice may spread even more widely, perhaps even coming to be adopted as a national rule. Without anyone cares to deepen the subject and try to understand what we are really talking about.

RISKS IN EUROPE – A scenario that particularly scares the industry and not only at the national level. Given that this market, based on games imports, is dominated by the video game majors, exporting their products all over the world, without having regulatory problems, as it happens today in Italy, where the market has been significantly compromised by these political dynamics, while still managing to survive. But the fear of the spread of these restrictions is so big and general, so much so that they find space at the Eag & Vae Expo in London too (scheduled in January, 15 – 17, at the ExCel exhibition center in the British capital), where a debate is proposed, dedicated to this theme entitled “The Italian Mistake”, promoted by GiocoNews.it.

THE DEBATE – The spokesman for the Consorzio Fee, Alessandro Lama, together with the president of the Euromat European Federation, Jason Frost, will attend the debate, in a panel moderated by the editor of the British magazine InterGame, David Snook, a true veteran of the sector, confirming the international attention on the subject. Therefore, the debate aims to propose a moment of discussion and general reflection on the – particularly critical – case of Ticket Redemptions market in Italy. After the fact that different regions of Italy are forbidding this type of games. The meeting is at the first day of the fair, Tuesday, January, the 15th, at 03.15 pm local time (04.15 pm Italian time), in the Seminar space set up inside the event that represents the first event in Europe dedicated to the entertainment industry.