Italian Casino and Card Room Gaming
At the end of 2002, Italy passed Law 289 (Financial Budget 2003), which legitimized Amusement with Prizes (AWP) machines for the first time. The law proved ineffective in controlling tax evasion and machine-tampering, so Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS) assumed exclusive and complete control of gaming machines within Italy. In 2004, the AAMS set rigid standards for the machines, including government-set payouts, maximum and minimum bets, and payment options. The gaming software of the machines is required to create comprehensive data backup of playing activity and must be remotely accessible via the Internet to allow for real-time fiscal monitoring. The government licenses manufacturers of AWPs, in addition to gaming venues, in order to enforce manufacturing standards, to ensure uniform taxation, and to prevent fraud and abuse of the machines.
In July 2004, Cogetech, a joint venture between GTECH and Cogemat S.p.A, won the non-exclusive right to set up 65,000 gaming machines across the country.
In 2008, new legislation introduced VLT machines to the Italian market. The legislation was amended in 2009 to allow private operators to obtain licenses. The selection process for prospective operators resulted in top contenders receiving licenses for about 10,000 VLTs each.
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