The current pandemic has accelerated an existent transformative process in the gambling market, not only the technological field but also in marketing and regulation.
Pragmatic Play reach deal with Novibet that will see its Live Casino offering launch across multiple regulated markets.
In many European countries, starting with Italy, the lockdown of legal gaming has brought with it the growth of the illegal market. Ludovico Calvi’s analysis.
Existing machinery, approval and value of the prizes: these are the issues of the technical rules for amusement sent to the EU under the lens of the operators, who are asking for further discussions.
“We are satisfied with the partial acceptance of our requests, but we would have expected a greater sharing of the proposals we presented last year, when there was the first discussion with the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli, in the open hearing on Amusement and new technical rules. Although we appreciated that consultation phase, we would have liked a second round of consultations. Now we will discuss with our technicians to understand the consequences and we will decide on the next information, logistical and operational actions for our associates, distributors, producers and managers”.
Alessandro Lama, president of the Federazione Amusement Confesercenti, higlights it after sending to the European Commission the draft of technical rules for production, import and verification of amusement machines without cash prizes, pursuant to art 110 paragraph 7 of the Royal Decree of 18 June 1931, n. 773 and subsequent amendments (Tulps), for the usual quarterly stand still, which marks the beginning of a new era for amusement machines without cash winning, expected for 10 years.
“Some of the most obvious points have been collected; others, probably also due to the intersection with some legal texts that could not be regulated by a technical decree, have not been modified according to our wishes”, Lama continues. The clearest question concerns the fate of the existing machines. What will happen to them? A Gordian knot, according to Lama, given that the decree “refers to the machines that will be placed on the market after the decree comes into force”.
The president of the Federazione Amusement Confesercenti points out that “the battle is being fought on other fields. At present, our halls are still closed despite the heavy investments in safety and without knowing anything about our future, so a regulation is welcome, a technical decree with 10 years of delay is welcome, but we would like a greater commitment to block operators who ruin the market, by making clearly illegal offers, against the rules of amusement and common sense”, Lama reminds.
Another point “excluded” by the new decree is the “lack of distinction in terms of homologation between machines such as table football and more complex ones; there is not even a reference to any tests on the market before carrying out a sustainability testing, there is no control of the prices of the approvals, there is no dedicated national price list, there are many small details that were not followed.
It is wrong to burden our sector with ancillary costs and limitations, given that we turn to families: a sector that should be a driving force for the gaming world will be killed with these rules.
Well, I think that after 10 years of waiting maybe it would have been better to broaden the discussion a little more, to make a little more effort at a time when the market is at a standstill and there was no urgency. We could have taken the opportunity to do a different job, we deserved more attention”.
However, for Lama, the text is a good result of the consultation with the other associations represnting the sector, starting with Sapar Service, led by Paolo Dalla Pria.
“In general, I see good opportunities in this decree. Of course, we will have to see how it will be at the end of the stand still, then it will be possible to make a more concrete speech, but the rules that are inside cover a bit of everything. For example, it gives us, one day, the possibility of working in the halls with online gaming, of making contracts with big groups such as Bandai Namco, to name one.
There are no precise rules on the existing machinery, but I believe an amnesty will be made. In general, I don’t see it badly, better than the other times, in three months we will face the technical table again”.
Vanni Ferro, president of New Asgi Association, also expressed substantial satisfaction with the new rules.
“Finally, a sector that has been in a regulatory limbo for years putting us in extreme difficulty in case of controls is being regulated. In fact, some types of games were not yet regulated and we didn’t known whether or not they could operate. We are satisfied with the acceptance of some observations, such as those made on cranes and bulldozers, the possibility that there are objects related to the bulldozer but not prizes, with the introduction of regulatory changes dictated by the entry on the market of new types of games. We are not for other reasons, starting with doubts about the existing machinery: we don’t know what we should do with them, in the light of investments of hundreds of thousands euros, given that the text only deals with games that will be built from now on”, Ferro reminds, as already done by his colleagues in the sector. “We have told this point to the Monopolies, but to date we haven’t received any response on this. Furthermore, we are also worried about the value of the prizes, blocked in 2005; a small adjustment had to be made, it is inconceivable today to find quality products with figures up to €20. It would have been fairer to review it and bring the limit to €40-50. Another issue is the homologation of all games: it becomes a problem to find the company code, it is only an Italian problem, it doesn’t exist abroad, you can do self-certification. We were hoping for a different vision also for paragraph 7c; at the time, homologations were born because the machines could not become slots, today it is impossible for this to happen, this type of fear no longer exists. It would have been fine to add a light homologation, as proposed last year for some kind of machines”, the president of New Asgi says, who doesn’t hide some concern for the immediate and long-term future.” It is increasingly difficult to work in this market, with the looming crisis, and this decree won’t help us. It was important to give us the opportunity to make our observations on the drafts sent at the time, but another discussion would have been necessary, to give reasons for our observations, to understand the difficulties of operating and implementing what was requested. I don’t know how the market will react, we are evaluating it and trying to understand how to operate: above all, there is great concern for the fate of the existing machinery, we should have time to reach a provisional approval or an authorization for 5 years, to give time to dampen the investments made”.
Mauro Zaccaria, president of Consorzio Fee (Family Entertainment Expo), thinks the same: “At the time, Adm called us to give our contribution to the decree, and we expressed our doubts about the first draft. In this, someone was welcomed and some not, we hope that after the end of the stand still in the European Commission some small adjustments can be made.
There is no doubt that this decree completes the regulation of the sector, and further bureaucratises it.
There is some sign of evolution, such as the inclusion of online gaming: we are the last country in the world to do so, but at least a step forward has been made. Not everything is lost, we have to wait for the evaluations of the other states, hoping that they will take our point of view into account.
There is no doubt that this decree completes the regulation of the sector, and further bureaucratises it.
There is some sign of evolution, such as the inclusion of online gaming: we are the last country in the world to do that, but at least a step forward has been made.
It would be important if this were accompanied by at least some stability in the sector, to avoid having to submit to regional and municipal limits to amusement in the future, such as the ban of using ticket redemptions for minors under 18, decided by Emilia Romagna.
In any case, we carry out our ideas, we continue to point out the existing critical issues and we try to make the Adm understand why, we hope they will listen to us”.
The new technical rules on amusement devices without cash winning have been sent to the European Commission in Brussels.
The wait is over. Or rather, now there is the community stand still, that is the three months (expiring on May, the 17th) during which the member states or the European Commission itself will be able to express opinions or observations.
In the meantime, the expected draft of technical rules for production, import and test of amusement machines without cash winning pursuant to art.110 paragraph 7 of the Royal Decree of 18 June 1931, n. 773 and subsequent modifications (Tulps) has been sent to Brussels.
THE CONTENT – The draft Decree, consisting of 4 chapters divided into 3 articles, defines the technical characteristics for production, import and test of amusement machines without cash prizes referred to in Article 110, paragraph 7, of Royal decree 18 June 1931, n. 773 and subsequent modifications (Tulps).
Articles 1, 2 of Chapter 1 and Article 13 of Chapter 4 respectively contain the purposes, the nomenclator with the definitions of terms and devices used in the decree and the rules on entry into force and abrogations.
Chapter 2, made of 10 articles, contains to articles 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 the technical rules for the production of devices, defining the minimum requirements, as well as the specific additional requirements required for each type of device, as defined in the nomenclator referred to in the previous article 2. On the other hand, articles 8, 9 and 10, dictate the requirements and details regarding the technical documents that must accompany each model of device, as well as the obligations of keeping, storing and updating the maintenance and application register on the devices with plates containing warnings, information and classifications of the device itself.
Finally, Chapter 3 makes the rules for the technical test of the devices by the certification bodies, as well as the purposes of the checks to be carried out to obtain the homologation referred to in article 38, paragraph 3 of the law of 23 December 2000, n. 388.
THE REASONS – As recalled in the notification sent to Brussels, Article 104 of Legislative Decree no.104/2020, converted by law 13 October 2020, n.126 provides for an amendment to Article 110, paragraph 7-ter of the Tulps on the subject of amusement machines without cash winning.
In particular, it provides that “…by provision of the director of the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (the Italian gaming regulator), to be issued within nine months from the date of entry into force of this provision, in order to ensure the prevention of risks associated with gambling, the technical rules for the production of the devices referred to in paragraph 7 are defined, as well as their administrative regulation, including the numerical parameters of devices installed in the offer points, as defined by current legislation”.
The rules currently in force, dating back to 2005, must necessarily be adapted to make them appropriate to the enormous technological developments that have occurred in the meantime, but also to the different sensitivity gained towards specific types of gaming and, above all, to counter the spread and proliferation of the so-called “totem”, fake devices with no cash winning or that simulate other technological services (for example phone cards) but which are actually devices with completely illegal cash winning.
The provision, much awaited by the entire Amusement sector, defines the requirements of the individual types of devices provided for by article 110, paragraph 7 of the Tulps, clarifying the operating methods, the minimum requirements, the necessary technical-administrative documents, the gaming mechanisms, the certification rules and will form the basis for the subsequent decree of the Minister of Economy, which will define the flat-rate tax base for the related applicable tax.
The Draft Decree provides for the specific regulation of the so-called electromechanical devices and in compliance with an aim of simplifying procedures, it provides for some types of devices lighter and more immediate certification rules. It also fills a gap by defining the perimeter of the so-called devices. That is to say, ticket redemptions issuing tickets at the end of the game.
Moreover, the draft decree for the first time defines and regulates the possibility of network connection of the devices and introduces the obligation of the Pegi classification, or equivalent system.
Market to benefit from alliance between long-established duo.
Playgon Games, the technology company focused on delivering mobile live dealer technology to online gaming operators, has initiated its Us strategy by engaging Duane Morris to represent the Company in its application process to license its Live Dealer technology for the Us market.
iGaming and Sport Betting in the US is expected to exceed $12.9B in total addressable market size by 2025 as more and more US States begin to legalize online gambling.The Us currently has 5 States where iGaming is legalized with several more States currently considering legislation that would see this market expand further. Live Dealer currently represents one of the fastest growing segments of the iGaming casino market globally expected to grow at a 60 percent Cagr by 2023 to $8B in gross revenue.
Playgon will submit applications in three Us States where iGaming is legal – New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Upon receiving the license, Playgon will be able to license and operate its proprietary Live Dealer technology and expects to formalize licensing deals with gaming operators in each State. Live Dealer technology is currently offered in limited capacity in US States that offer iGaming, the Company anticipates considerable demand for its mobile focused Live Dealer casino games which include Roulette, Baccarat and Blackjack.
“The US has quickly become a blue sky opportunity for the Company and we have elected to enter the US much faster than initially anticipated,” said Darcy Krogh, CEO of Playgon Games. “We are now in the process of pursuing licenses in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan for our Live Dealer technology and are confident that Duane Morris will successfully guide us through the process. In tandem, we will remain in active conversations with operators throughout the US to increase interest and opportunities while also focusing on going live and developing business in the regulated markets we are currently approved in.”
All is ready and confirmed, SPiCE India 2021 it will be a physical event from 16 to 18 june in Goa.
After a year of restrictions and uncertainties, the global amusement sector is preparing to restart, reactivating the fairs in view of the summer.
All is ready in the global amusement industry for a restart after a year of pandemic. Despite the hard test suffered by companies in the sector in any country, worldwide and in Europe, there are those who still look to the future with confidence, focusing on next summer. Now that also Easter – another moment of extraordinary importance for the arcades of the various countries – has been lost, we only have to hope for the summer season, with the reopening of the arcades, especially in the holiday resorts.
It is a pity, however, that, to date, the governments of most European countries have not yet spoken in a clear and definitive manner on the dates of reopening of public places and, in particular, precisely as regards gaming places, considered, in a rather widespread manner, “non-essential” activities. Worse in Italy where, in addition to the fact that an open debate on this issue, much less an internal discussion within the government has never been – at least until now – the verdict by the Ministry of Economy has just arrived, which only said that “broadcasts will resume as soon as possible”, to use a well-known slogan in other forms of entertainment. By arguing that as soon as the conditions are met, it will be possible to start again. Without any indication: since the virus, unfortunately, doesn’t warn in advance when it arrives or when it will stop circulating.
For this reason, the projects of all companies (as well as those of governments) seem to rely, more than anything else, on hopes, together with vaccines. In the more or less general belief that with the arrival of summer the virus can be archived. As happened last year, with the high temperature that reduced the infection to a minimum, allowing all activities to restart
AND RESTAR WILL BE – And it is precisely on this belief that the global Amusement industry marks the restart, starting with the reactivation of its reference events. The first one will be the EAG Expo in London, which last January had also had to renounce its online edition, set up in response to the pandemic and with the impossibility of creating a “live” event. But at the beginning of the year the conditions for a virtual event also failed, as there is practically no type of market to talk about. Now, however, the climate has changed (in every sense) and since the show must go on, the British try again, scheduling the online edition of the expo for April, 20 – 21.
Despite the situation, in fact, the online edition has attracted the interest of many exhibitors – they say from the event – and thanks to their contribution and that of various experts, visitors will be able to take part – at a distance – in a particularly relevant and topical webinar program that will take place during the two days.
As explained by Eag Expo chairman, Martin Burlin: “The UK government’s roadmap for exiting the lockdown has been of little comfort to our industry. However, some industry segments now have sure indications on reopening dates. but we will need some time to get ready for any advantage”. Nevertheless, the various exhibitors have worked tirelessly to produce various product presentations and these, together with the various topics that need to be discussed, will make Eag Online an “educational, positive and far-sighted event”.
During the event Italy will once again be the protagonist, thanks to the panel organized by GiocoNews.it and dedicated to the (alleged) revolution ongoing on Italian market, sanctioned by the new regulation of the sector started by the legislator and being implemented by Italian regulator (AdM), that promises to generate a new market, of which there will be a lot to talk about.
AMERICA COMES BACK “LIVE” – In the meantime, however, on the other side of the ocean, the foot is put on the accelerator to definitively restart the sector. With the trade association Iaapa reminding the delay and setting new dates for its show in the presence, clearly believing that its US members will be able to open business and take part in mass events, already by the end of the year. So, the organization has published an updated list of events for the whole year, most of them virtual ones, but with the great return of the fair in Orlando, Florida, in November, 15 – 18, 2021. Before, there will be one series of virtual events, from the water park forum on March, the 23rd, to the 7 – 8 April conference at the Latin American Summit on 13 – 14 April, all online events. Another “live” event will be the Latin American conference in Cancun, Mexico, in September, 8 – 9
ASIA GETS THE BALL ROLLING – However, the Asians will get the ball rolling of Amusement with the first “physical” meeting of the sector, which will take place in Zhuhal, China, on April, the 22nd, although there will be a return to the virtual with the Institute for attractions Managers in May, 10 – 13.
The first big show will still be Expo Asia, in Shanghai, from 10 to 13 August.
EUROPE STARTS FROM BELGIUM – In Europe, however, the spotlight will all be on Belgium, at the end of spring, with the first attempt of a show, again by Iaapa, scheduled from 8 to 10 June. Then, there are two other virtual events of the same organization, on safety and another aimed at attraction managers, on June, 16-17 and July, 26-30. The exhibitions in presence should then continue with the European exhibition Iaapa Expo Europe, scheduled in Barcelona, Spain, from 27 to 30 September.