Tag: Featured

25 Mar 2020

Covid-19: gaming stopped in Italy until April, the 3rd but possible extensions until July, the 31st

The Council of Ministers approved the new Law decree, which gives the possibility to extend the measures for Covid-19 – month by month – until July, the 31st.

The Italian government has approved yesterday (24 march 2020) the law decree introducing harsher penalties – with fines from €400 to €3 thousand – for those who violate the restrictive measures for the containment of Coronavirus, providing for the possibility of adopting them “on specific parts of the national territory or, if necessary, on the whole of it” for defined periods, “each lasting no more than thirty days, which can be repeated and modified even several times until 31 July 2020 and with the possibility of changing their application on the increase or decrease according to the epidemiological trend of the aforementioned virus”.
“To contain and oppose the health risks deriving from the spread of the Covid-19 virus -we read in the text – on specific parts of the national territory or, if necessary, on the whole of it, one or more of the following measures can be adopted, as required by this decree, among those referred to in paragraph 2, for defined periods, each lasting no more than thirty days, which can be repeated and modified even several times until July, the 31st, 2020 and with the possibility of changing their application, increasing or decreasing according to the epidemiological trend of the aforementioned virus”.
Therefore, “one or more of the following measures may be adopted, according to specific suitability criteria and principles of proportionality to the risk actually present on specific parts or on the entire national territory: closing of cinemas, theaters, dance halls, discos, arcades, betting rooms and bingo halls, cultural centers, social centers and leisure centers or other similar gathering places; limitation or interruption of sporting events and competitions of any order and kind in public or private places, including the possibility of arranging the temporary closure of gyms, sports centers, swimming pools, swimming centers and sports facilities, even if private, as well as to regulate the methods of carrying out sports training within the same places”.
Ratifying, in fact, also the impossibility to place bets, or to compete in horse racing. As already happened with the decree published on March, the 9th and valid until April, the 3rd.

12 Mar 2020

Coronavirus, a new decree in Italy: ‘Limits for public places, bars and restaurants closed’

The Italia premier Giuseppe Conte signs a new decree for the control of Coronavirus, until March, the 25th, bars and restaurants closed, newsstands and tobacconists opened. Factories operating in compliance with safety protocols.

The measures launched by the government to control Coronavirus are even more restrictive. With a decree of the prime minister published yesterday evening, March, the 11th, the list of activities that will have to be closed is extended. Currently until March, the 25th. Among them, there aren’t tobacconists, now the only “bastion” of the gaming offer, given the closing of the rooms until April, the 3rd, decided last Sunday and, also from yesterday, also the closure imposed to the bars. But let’s see, in detail, what the new decree provides.

ACTIVITIES NOT ALLOWED AND THE EXCEPTIONS – In order to counter and control the spread of the Covid-19 virus, retail business activities are suspended throughout the country, except for the sale of food and essential goods. Regardless of the type of activity carried out, “markets are closed, with the exception of activities aimed at selling only food. Newsstands, tobacconists, pharmacies and parapharmacies remain open. The interpersonal safety distance of a meter must in any case be guaranteed”.
Furthermore, the activities of food services (including bars, pubs, restaurants, ice cream shops, backeries) are suspended, with the exception of dinign halls and continuous catering on a contractual basis, which assure the interpersonal safety distance of one meter.
Only food service with home delivery is allowed, in compliance with hygienic-sanitary rules for packaging and transportation activities. Also shops for food and drink selling located in the service and refueling areas located along roads, highways and into railways, airports and lake stations and in hospitals remain open, ensuring the interpersonal safety distance of one meter.

Activities relating to personal services (including hairstylists, barbers, beauticians) are suspended. Banking, financial and insurance services as well as the agricultural and zootechnical sector, including the supply chains that supply goods and services to them, are assured in compliance with hygiene and health standards“.
Regions can reduce or eliminate local public transport rides, while the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport can reduce or abolish interregional car services and rail, air and maritime transport services, based on actual needs and for the sole purpose of ensuring minimal essential services.
Public administrations assure the ordinary course of their employees’ work in an agile way and identify the activities that cannot be postponed to be made with a presence”.
Same ratio for production and professional activities, with the stop of work in company departments not essential for production and compliance with “anti-infection safety protocols and, where it is not possible to respect the interpersonal distance of one meter as the main containment measure, with the adoption of individual protection tools”.

REGIONS AND THE INDUSTRY ARE SATISFIED – In some way, therefore, the requests made by some Regions – first of all Lombardia – to stop the activities of many commercial businesses considered “non-primary” have been accepted, but also those of Confindustria, which had proposed to keep companies running but with the adoption of a self-regulation code.

THE COMMENT OF THE GOVERNOR FONTANA – Remaining in Lombardia, the President of the Region, Attilio Fontana, comments the new decree. “Common sense has prevailed. Coronavirus can only be fighted with strict measures. I am sure that not only the Lombardia’s people, but all the Italians, will welcome this provision. With the awareness that today’s sacrifices are necessary to start again stronger tomorrow”.

WAITING FOR SUPPORT TO FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES – To complete the picture, the government decree on measures to support families and businesses is expected to arrive between today and Friday. Expected allocation of resources of up to 25 billion, with 12 available immediately, unemployment insurance for all sectors, interventions on tax deadlines, compensation for self-employed workers, parental leave and baby sitter vouchers for parents. Yesterday evening, meanwhile, the approval of a large majority of the Chambers to the report on the authorization for the budget variance arrived.

11 Mar 2020

Coronavirus effect: online gaming grows and retail collapses, Awps at -22%

With the restrictions imposed by the government to stop the Covid-19 epidemic, the collection of physical gaming collapses, but online gaming increases. GiocoNews.it data

The coronavirus emergency and the consequent restrictive measures issued by the Italian government are compromising the collection of physical gaming and, in particular, that of the devices segment. With the entire segment (therefore, considered as the sum of Awps and Vlts), which in the first week of March 2020 recorded a “minus” 33.3 percent compared to the previous year. And this should only be the beginning of a much broader decline, taking into account that in the first eight days of the month to which the estimate of the collection refers, only gaming venues in Lombardia had been completely blocked, while starting from this week the interruption is valid throughout the national territory, with the total closure of slots and vlts rooms, betting and bingo rooms. While in public places, where we can continue to play with slots and to bet (through authorized venues), while following the appropriate recommendations on how to frequent the venues, we will still not be able to go beyond 6am, when the venues will have to close.

THE CRISIS OF RETAIL – A very critical situation for the retail gaming sector, which has direct effects on the entire supply chain: from the concessionaire to the operators, passing through the managers, of course. Specifically, according to GiocoNews.it surveys carried out on the various concessionaires, the Awps collection in the first week of March decreased by about 22 percent, after that in February it had recorded a drop of 3.5 percent on the previous year and of 1.2 percent in January. Thus making obvious a negative trend, because due to the various measures introduced by the various national and regional laws (and, in particular, by the increase in taxation), which was then further aggravated by the measures to contain the epidemic. An even more accentuated phenomenon in the video lotteries segment where, as is known, the crisis of collection was already very pronounced already at the beginning of the year, due to the depressive effect due to the introduction of the health card for the activation of the gaming terminals, which now becomes particularly critical with the new restrictions to the venues. From -19.6 percent in January 2020, the collection of Vlts dropped by -20.9 percent in February and then dropped to -33.3 percent in the first eight days of March. It then collapsed further in the coming days, when the decrease will even exceed 75 percent.

BOOM OF ONLINE – However, different is the trend of the online gaming, which is in unavoidable contrast with that of the physical one. Between isolations, quarantines and simple precautions, as of February 2020 there had been a surge in spending on casino games with a 27 percent increase compared to the previous year. A significantly higher figure compared to the last quarter of 2019, when the growth had been 15 percent and even higher than the annual average which had been 17 percent over 2018. Also in January, the growth recorded by the casino games segment had been of 14 percent, then almost doubled in the following month.
If the epidemic is compromising the activity of public gaming operators on the whole national territory, then the same cannot be said for online gaming, quite the contrary. With an even more significant increase that is expected to arrive in March, with the forced closure at home on the whole national territory, which will shift the habits of Italians more and more towards the virtual.

10 Mar 2020

Covid-19: (physical) gaming stops in Italy

The decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of 2020, March, the 8th containing further measures to contain and manage the epidemiological emergency from Covid-19, marked the closure of all gaming, betting and bingo halls in Italy until April, the 3rd. At the moment. With the possibility that the protective measures may be extended for a longer period of time, if the infections not decrease over time.
This means that, as of Monday, March, the 9th, the operation of the AWPs installed in bars, tobacconists, restaurants, hotels, etc. is still allowed, provided that they are located and/or used in such a way as to allow compliance with the interpersonal distance of at least one meter. The same can be said for betting corners found in tobacconists.

However, there are interpretative doubts for those places (such as bars, tobacconists or restaurants) with separate rooms (even if accessible via the main entrance of the shop), dedicated to hosting gaming devices. In this case, while considering the predominance of the license regarding the main activity (for which, the permanence of the devices should remain permitted), the substantial nature of “gaming room” could be attributed to these spaces.

Even private clubs, in which gaming activity is ancillary to the club’s own activities may remain open, but even here there are doubts, without prejudice to the need to adopt suitable measures to avoid gatherings and in any case aimed at maintaining the interpersonal distance of at least a meter.

It should be noted that the gaming activity taken into account by the rules in question is not only limited to devices with a cash prize, but also extended to that carried out through the devices included in the type provided for in paragraph 7 of art. 110 of the Tulps, that is Arcade video games, cranes, redemptions, etc.
“Starting from today, 2020, March, the 10th, after the further government action that extends the” red zone “to the whole nation (the previous decree identified only 14 provinces at risk), restaurant and bar activities, as well as having to respect, as in all Italy, the measures suitable to allow the interpersonal distance of one meter, can remain open only from 6am to 6pm.

The emergency situation had already caused the 45-day postponement of the Rimini Enada fair (to the new dates of April 21-23) but in light of the protracted emergency, it is possible that the fair itself may have moved to next autumn or, worse again, that it can be canceled.

05 Feb 2020

Castaldo (Microgame): ‘Omnichannel, a practical and effective distribution channel’

Marco Castaldo, Ceo of Microgame, takes stock of omnichannel strategies in the gaming sector, also in the light of the provisions of the Dignity decree.

London – “We talk in a little light way about omnichannel, a term used by many people for the definition of exploitable and playable games on several fronts. But what we are talking about here is a concept of a more practical and effective distribution channel”.
Marco Castaldo, Ceo of Microgame, underlines that in his speech about the focus on the Italian gaming market in the light of recent regulatory changes, organized by Gioco News within the Wrb – World Regulatory Briefing, hosted by the Ice Vox conferences cycle of the Ice London 2020 show.
“Land-based operators have been restrictively affected by the Government with the provisions of the Dignity decree prohibiting gaming advertising, they were convinced to invest more in digital marketing and are increasingly using land-based networks to develop customers. This trend of omnichannel is the most important part to follow and exploit, considering the current situation”.
Castaldo also takes stock of the online gaming invitation to tender: “We have some customers who have already started even before obtaining the concession and have started operations with the skins of our network to start working. We have some signed agreements and other companies that will work with us in the coming months. Based on this, I would say that for us, at least so far but also in perspective, the result of the new invitation to tender is already positive”.
And as for future projects, Microgame, Castaldo reveals, aims to “reinforce investments, trying to find customers not only online or in land-based way but in all recruitment methods”.

The full video of GiocoNews’s panel can be seen here.

05 Feb 2020

Ice London, Tirabassi: ‘Adv ban, physical gaming operators have an advantage over others’

At the Gioco News panel in Ice London, the advisor Christian Tirabassi (Senior Partner Ficom Leisure) draws the evolution of physical and online gaming, in an omnichannel perspective.

London – “There was an industrial growth in 2019. And it was quite important. You can see the first effects of the adv ban, which leaves a significant advantage to land-based operators, compared to the others. In this way, it is possible to attract customers for online gaming and this can be seen in numbers. We are talking about operators with betting rooms and Vlt rooms, in short, land-based places”.
Word of Christian Tirabassi, Senior Partner Ficom Leisure, one of the speakers protagonist of the focus on the Italian gaming market in the light of recent regulatory changes, organized by Gioco News within the framework of the Wrb – World Regulatory Briefing, hosted by the Ice Vox conferences cycle of the 2020 Ice London fair.
“We advisors are starting to see that many operators who have only online gaming in the DNA are thinking of making acquisitions of physical networks to counteract the advantage we were talking about before. We talk about big brands. When there are the tenders, these operators will be able to compete in a 360 degree omnichannel. We see a future in which there will be consolidation, product and channel integration both mobile online and also on the territory”, Tirabassi ends.

The full video of GiocoNews’ can be seen here.