AAMS cancelled/merged with Customs Agency

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As part of a strategy aimed at reducing the costs of the Ministry of Finance, the Italian government decided to ‘disband’ the Italian gaming authority AAMS transferring all its functionalities to the Customs Authority to be renamed as “Agency of Customs and Monopolies”.
Formally AAMS will not exist anymore, but the decree providing this measure clarified that all the personnel and functionalities of AAMS will be transferred to the newly renamed Agency of Customs and Monopolies.
In practical terms, it is likely that such measure will lead to a “merger” rather than a real cancellation. Indeed, the decree also mentions the appointment of a vice-director of the agency that will be in charge of strategy and coordination functionalities in relation to AAMS’ activities and that might take the role recently left by Mr. Ferrara.
What are the consequences for the Italian gaming sector? My view is that nothing will change for gaming operators, Italian gaming regulations are so sector specific that I find hard to believe that the new Agency will not keep the same persons in the same roles that they now have at AAMS and maybe the sole change will be in terms of costs saving for the personnel that will avoid duplications.
It will be important though that such re-organization will not lead to delays in AAMS’ operations given that the Italian gaming market needs an authority able to expeditiously react to requests from operators. Also, it will be interesting to see whether the new agency will be more effective in the fight against non-Italian licensed operators given fraud detection skills of the customs agency.
Indeed, for the time being the police activity run by AAMS has only enjoyed limited success, with the consequence that the black market is still considerably damaging licensed operators.
Therefore this change might be beneficial for gaming operators, but everything will depend on how it will be implemented. Do you want to discuss further about this topic? Feel free to contact me, Giulio Coraggio.

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Giulio Coraggio (LL. M.) is Senior Associate at DLA Piper, Milan. Join Giulio's Linkedin network at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/giuliocoraggio

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