Gambling, you change: stop the slots in bars and support to municipalities against ludopathy

The bill of the undersecretary of Economy Bitonci (League): stop the slots in bars and new hourly limits. Ludopathy in Italy is a social scourge, and municipalities are "left alone".

Slot machines, everything changes. Stop the slots in bars, new provisions on the subject of hourly limits and new quota of the devices. These are some of the objectives of the proposed law of the undersecretary of the Economy and Finance, Massimo Bitonci (League), relating to "Provisions for the fight against ludopathy and the rationalization of public gaming outlets". The measure, which aims to avoid "the excessive rationing and pulverization of the game offer, raise the professionalism of operators in order to protect the weaker categories, counter the phenomenon of illegal gaming", provides "new criteria for the installation" of slots in order to limit the excessive proliferation in bars, restaurants and all those businesses that do not make the game their main activity.


The proposed law

In detail, "it is prohibited to install them in commercial establishments with a main activity other than the marketing of public gaming products that have an area of less than 20 square meters. The installation is also prohibited in bathing establishments, in private clubs, in betting collection centers that collect bets in Italy on behalf of foreign operators - operating under the so-called Costa Cifone ruling issued on February 16th 2012 by the Court of Justice of the European Union - and in public gaming rooms where, in addition, the installation of video lotteries is also prohibited".

As reported by, in the Bitonci bill is also redesigned "the system of quotas, or the maximum number of devices that are allowed to install in relation to the surface area of the premises devoted to sales or economic and social activity, in bars, restaurants and hotels, reducing the maximum number of devices installed compared to the number now allowed. The premises designated for the installation of slots in commercial businesses must also "be architecturally separated from the areas designated for the main activity of the business and their surface area must not be prevalent compared to that dedicated to the main activity".

New hours for slot machines

On the subject of schedules, the proposal provides "new provisions on time, in order to avoid the possibility of access to the game, at any time of day or night, can indiscriminately promote addiction, at least for physical devices, taking into account the now rampant phenomenon of illegal online gaming on which, however, is more difficult to intervene. It also provides for "a more stringent regulation regarding the geographical location of devices, establishing rules on the distance between them and sensitive places such as schools, hospitals, sports centers, public parks and parish centers. Similarly, a minimum distance from banks or post offices is also envisaged, so as to discourage, as much as possible, the withdrawal of cash".


30% of revenues to the municipalities

The proposed law also aims to devolve "30 percent of the revenue from the single tax to the municipalities, which today are increasingly called upon to bear the burden of controls in businesses and gaming rooms and to give their support in the fight against gambling. The modalities of attribution to the municipalities of the share due to them are referred to a subsequent decree of the Minister of Economy and Finance". It then limits "the use of debit cards for the payment of bets: more and more often, in fact, it happens that some players, in order to continue to play, are willing to get into further debt, circumventing, with the use of debit cards, the limits imposed on the withdrawal of cash" and are finally provided "administrative sanctions of a pecuniary nature, as well as the closure of the exercise, in case of repeated violation of the obligations imposed by law.