Italy: the Emilia-Romagna Region continues the war against ticket redemption
The Emilia-Romagna Region confirms the rules prohibiting ticket redemption to minors, with the approval of the regional law, that has just been approved by the Health Policies Committee, called today to comment on the resolution of the the legislative body, introduced in 2013 and which will have to be implemented starting from the next few months, after giving the operators a period of 5 years before the new rules come into force.
“Prevention starts with the youngest: with these provisions we further strengthen our commitment to opposing and reducing the risk of gambling addiction, starting from the most vulnerable, weakest people. And, since we are dealing with minors, our strongest hope is that parents do their part and are our allies too”, the regional councilors of Emilia Romagna Sergio Venturi (Health policies) and Andrea Corsini (Tourism and trade) comment on the green light given by the commission. “We are facing a phenomenon that affects all ages in a transversal way, and that we continue to fight: both from a health point of view, with investments of over €7,4 million for treatment and prevention of addictions allocated by the 2018 – 2019 Fund for pathological gambling, both with incentives to businesses joining the ‘Slot free ER’ brand. And in this regard, in 2018 we doubled the contributions, which went to €300 thousand, allowing us to approve 30 projects from Piacenza to Rimini”, the two councilors end.
The text approved by the Commission (which will now have to return to the Council for final approval) introduces, for the managers, the obligation to post in the premises the specific regional poster where the prohibition to use “ticket redemption” from minors is indicated. Not only that: there is also the obligation to post in a visible way on each device subject to the prohibition a notice where the fact that the use is forbidden to minors under 18 years must be clearly indicated.
Furthermore, managers must verify the age of the client, except in cases where the age is clear. If they are underage, they must not sell the tokens, or give them the prize deriving from a winnings. In the case of violation of the obligations by the managers, the application of administrative fines is planned.
But that is not all. According to the populist regional councilor Andrea Bertani, regional leader of the Movimento 5 Stelle, the planned measures would still be “too permissive”. “It is necessary to better specify how managers should prevent minors from using the machines, effectively prohibiting the game from being allowed to underage – he explains. Given that the tokens for ticket redemptions are the same used for normal games without prize, how will the owners of a bar or an arcade prevent minors from playing the machines if they don’t have the obligation to carefully monitor the actual use? This is why in our opinion this is a too permissive resolution. This is why we voted in the commission and will monitor very closely on its real application in businesses”.