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Online Gambling in Italy, Quirino Mancini (Tonucci & Partners) shares insights in an exclusive interview

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PragueGamingSummit.com
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Just last week the Italian gaming news agency Agimeg reported that Italy’s gambling regulator had so far received “less than 10 applications” for the new licenses, which cover mostly all gambling activities – sports and race betting, casino, poker, exchange betting, virtual sports, etc.

The licenses cost €200k apiece and are valid through 2022. Applicants must already hold an online gambling license in a European Union member state and boast annual turnover of at least €1.5m over the past two years. If applicants can’t meet these standards, they have to put up an additional €1.5m bank guarantee.

My latest interviewee is among the leading lawyers in Italy. Quirino Mancini is Partner and Global Head of Gaming & Gambling Practice at Tonucci & Partners.

Thank you for accepting this interview. My first question would be what are your expectations from the call for bids from online gaming operators? How will this change the Italian gaming industry?

Quirino: Judging by the first enquiries I have gathered since the announcement of the new licence tender, it would seem that notwithstanding the Italian market is already packed, there still are operators willing to enter it. This applies not only to B2C operators but to B2B ones too, even though unlike, most European regulated markets, the Italian licensing model does not require B2B operators to hold a local licence in order to offer their services, so if the trend is confirmed I reckon the Italian market will be somewhat re-shaped as a result of the advent of the “hybrid” operators (B2C+B2B).

The launch of the bidding process was expected much earlier. What hindered the launch, and does this have any effect on the process of bidding?

Quirino: The only reason for an otherwise inexplicable delay in calling the remote gaming licences tender is the quite populistic and very often ill-informed political pressure, notably across the whole parliamentary board, to restrict the gaming offer. Unfortunately the local gaming industry has so far proven unable to pull their acts together in terms of putting together a consistent, coordinated and effective effort to somehow redress the mounting wave of discredit and bias thrown at operators who are fully legal, legitimate, licensed and do pay taxes in Italy as if instead they were a bunch of offshore-based pirates ripping and abusing the poor Italian consumers.

There are several online gambling licenses which have already entered the Italian iGaming market and now only require the renewal of their licenses. My question is what is your opinion how difficult this process will be for the rest of the applicants?

Quirino: The licence tender process is all but difficult provided the prospective applicants duly meet the eligibility requirements and take timely action filing-wise. The real challenges for them, once licensed, are (i) going live in less than one full year bearing in mind the many technical peculiarities and specificities of the Italian remote gaming model that notably entails a 24/7 connection of the operator’s servers with the central control system ran by the regulator, (ii) having a good product fit and also customised for the local players, and (iii) having a clear vision for an effective and creative marketing strategy.

The delay in the online gaming licensing might have had an effect on the shared online poker liquidity agreement signed by Italy as well. What is your opinion regarding this problem?

Quirino: I believe that when it comes to shared international liquidity, the more newcomer operators join the party, the better it is for the players in terms of creating a sufficiently large pool.

It has recently been announced that Italy will not join the official start of the project. Will you, please share your ideas related to this issue?

Quirino: On 4 March 2018 general elections will be held in Italy. As already mentioned in a previous reply, at this time there definitely is too much focus, bias, propaganda, mis-information and pressure surrounding the gaming business for any sensible politician to want to be seen as the one who facilitated the offer of more gaming services to Italians, and because regulators take instructions and directions from the government and the parliament, you may easily figure out the rest of the story

To meet Quirino in person, make sure you register and attend Prague Gaming Summit 2018, held on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague.

Interviewee profile:

Quirino Mancini is the global head of the gaming and gambling practice at Tonucci & Partners(www.tonucci.com), a top-ten Italian general practice firm with offices in Rome, Milan, Brescia, Padua, Florence, Tirana, Bucharest and Belgrad.

Quirino is one of the leading Italian gaming and gambling lawyers with a specialist practice of almost 20 years.  He acts for Italian and foreign-based online and land-based companies operating in the Italian gaming market, advising them on legal, licensing, regulatory, day-to-day compliance and any other operational aspects connected to their activities.  He also runs a bespoke matchmaking and business strategy service to provide clients with a customised type of assistance that includes also introduction and facilitation of dealings with the local regulatory authorities, banks as well as scouting and suitability checks on potential business partners.

Quirino is a regular speaker at most international gaming conferences and sits in the editorial board of various sector reviews and magazines.

Co-founder and editor of www.gaminglaw.eu, a pan-European information and commentary portal focusing on legal and regulatory issues under European and national gaming laws.

Secretary and fellow member of the Leadership Committee of the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), a worldwide organisation gathering regulators, lawyers and advisors, in-house counsels and educators engaged in the gaming business.  Fellow member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA)

Reka is an Experienced English second language teacher with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Microsoft Excel, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Translation, Foreign Languages, and Lecturing. Strong education professional with a Bachelor’s Degree majored in English Language and Literature/Letters. Reka is in charge of conducting the exclusive interviews on European Gaming and our printed magazine

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CEEGC 2018

Romanian Gambling Industry update with Cosmina Simion (NNDKP) at CEEGC Budapest 2018

Zoltan Tundik

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Budapest – 20 August 2018 – Since the regulation of the Romanian gambling industry, most of the large brands have obtained licenses to offer their services on the territory of the country. There is no doubt that the industry in the region is booming when it comes to licensing, but what makes the Romanian markets so popular among regulated gambling markets in this part of Europe.

We are honored to announce the latest speaker who will join the “Focus on Eastern Europe” panel discussion and share the insights of the Romanian gambling industry.

Cosmina Simion (NNDKP – Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen) an expert, who is often quoted in the industry portals and magazines and has extensive knowledge about the up and downs of the gambling industry in Romania compared to other jurisdictions.

About Cosmina Simion

Cosmina Simion co-heads the Gaming and Consumer Protection & Advertising practices of NNDKP, a preeminent business law firm in Romania. In addition to the gambling industry, her practice focuses on IP/IT, media & entertainment and online industries, having acquired a strong expertise in these fields in her 19 years of professional activity.

In the gaming field, her experience encompasses the full range of regulatory and operational gaming aspects, assisting betting and gaming operators, software & platform suppliers, financial services providers, auditors & certifiers, industry relevant associations or marketing affiliates.

Cosmina has also been actively involved in the review and drafting of the gaming legal framework (primary and secondary legislation), including representing clients before the Romanian regulator.

Previous coordination roles include heading the IP, media and technology practice of a Tier 1 global law firm, and acting as an in-house counsel at a US media group.

Cosmina is acknowledged as Leading Individual in the field of Gambling law by Legal500, being the only Romanian lawyer included in the highest band of the rankings.

She is a General Member of IMGL.

Make sure you grab your seat in time and attend the most prestigious boutique style gaming event which gathers C-level executives yearly in one of Europe’s most visited city. Register here!

You can browse the full agenda and already confirmed speaker list on the following link.

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CEEGC 2018

U.S. Gambling Market Opportunities debated at CEEGC 2018 in a special IMGL MasterClass with Jeremy Kleiman (Partner at the New Jersey law firm of Saiber LLC)

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Budapest – 16 August 2018 – The industry portals are full of news about the gambling industry in the U.S. and this flood of data started when the Supreme Court paved the way for gambling to become legal nationwide.

The online and land based gambling industry is incredibly vast and sophisticated through the whole of Europe. Thus, investment in the U.S. market by overseas companies is a certainty and some are focusing really hard on it.

While this will make the market more competitive, the U.S. market poses a few unique challenges. For example, many gambling companies won’t necessarily know how to properly launch the U.S. market with new products. Gaining the insights necessary to succeed starts at the top with a strategic plan that’s driven by advanced technology.

As mentioned earlier, the IMGL MasterClass™ – US Market – Gold Rush or Opposite for European Operations (panel discussion) is the result of the extensive debates and talks, which leave many questions un-answered by European operators. That question being, expanding through Europe or aiming for the American dream.

We are honored to announce that Jeremy Kleiman, Partner at the New Jersey law firm of Saiber LLC, will join the IMGL MasterClass and share valuable insights as an “inside expert” of the market.

About Jeremy Kleiman

Jeremy Kleiman is a partner at the New Jersey law firm of Saiber LLC and a member of the firm’s executive committee.  His law practice focuses on gaming, regulatory and business law, representing casino operators, gaming equipment manufacturers, technology providers and financial institutions involved in the gaming and lottery industries.  He specializes in gaming-related corporate, regulatory, licensing and compliance matters, with an emphasis on the online and mobile gambling and sports betting industries.

Prior to rejoining the firm, Jeremy served as Executive Vice President, Regulatory & Business Affairs for Coastal Development, LLC, a developer, investor and operator in casino resorts and racetracks.  In that role, he was responsible for the company’s legal affairs, government relations and compliance functions, as well as sourcing, negotiating and executing on a number of business transactions.  Jeremy’s background and experience on the business side of the gaming industry uniquely positions him to counsel and advise clients on transactional and regulatory matters while understanding the clients’ business objectives.

Jeremy had previously been a member of the Firm and head of its Gaming Law Practice Group prior to his time at Coastal Development.  He advised financial institutions, gaming equipment manufacturers, lottery providers and casino operators on all matters related to licensing, compliance and other regulatory matters.

Jeremy is a co-founder and director of iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA), an industry association seeking to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the United States through advocacy and education.

Jeremy serves on the Board of Trustees of the International Association of Gaming Advisors, is a past Chair of the Casino Law Section of the New Jersey Bar Association, and is a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law.  He is a frequent panelist at gaming industry conferences.

Make sure you grab your seat in time and attend the most prestigious boutique style gaming event which gathers C-level executives yearly in one of Europe’s most visited city. Register here!

You can browse the full agenda and already confirmed speaker list on the following link.

Quotes about CEEGC Budapest from attending delegates

Rafal Nowak – iGaming Sales Director at Mobiyo

“A week after the Budapest Gaming CEE conferences, I’m still discussing the topics brought up there with fellow delegates. Thank you Zoltan Tundik for organizing an informative an well shaped event on this, often underestimated iGaming territory and good luck with the next one!”

Roy Pedersen – CEO & Chief Editor at All In Translations

“For All-in Translations’ 10 Year Anniversary Tour we decided to attend more smaller conferences. Zoltan and Betty are much of the reason for this. They have a unique way of giving a personal touch to the events they organise while at the same time keeping them highly relevant. CEEGC Budapest was another great example where we felt truly welcome, and at the same time it was great for business.”

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CEEGC 2018

Expect to be pampered at CEEGC Budapest by Altenar, welcoming our latest sponsor

George Miller

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Budapest – 15 August 2018 – We are excited to announce a new type of sponsor for the third edition of the most prestigious boutique style gaming conference in the CEE region.

For the first time ever, we are introducing a “Pamper” sponsor and it is our honor to announce that Altenar will be the company to take this spot.

When the team at Altenar suggested this custom sponsorship, we were simply amazed by their inventiveness. We are really excited to meet such partners who will surely give a moment of pampering for our delegates at the conference.” said Zoltán Tűndik, Head of Business at European Gaming Media and Events.

Altenar will be the official Pamper, Pen and Paper sponsor at the third edition of the Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference and Awards, which will be held in Budapest on the 25th of September at the Ritz-Carlton.

Make sure you grab your seat in time and attend the most prestigious boutique style gaming event which gathers C-level executives yearly in one of Europe’s most visited city. Register here!

You can browse the full agenda and already confirmed speaker list on the following link.

Quotes about CEEGC Budapest from attending delegates

Rafal Nowak – iGaming Sales Director at Mobiyo

“A week after the Budapest Gaming CEE conferences, I’m still discussing the topics brought up there with fellow delegates. Thank you Zoltan Tundik for organizing an informative an well shaped event on this, often underestimated iGaming territory and good luck with the next one!”

Roy Pedersen – CEO & Chief Editor at All In Translations

“For All-in Translations’ 10 Year Anniversary Tour we decided to attend more smaller conferences. Zoltan and Betty are much of the reason for this. They have a unique way of giving a personal touch to the events they organise while at the same time keeping them highly relevant. CEEGC Budapest was another great example where we felt truly welcome, and at the same time it was great for business.”

About Altenar

Altenar is a provider of sportsbook services to licensed gaming operators, ranging from ‘software-only’ product offers to the provision of a fully managed sports betting platform stack. Our software is developed and operated in-house, whilst being powered by premium quality data feeds.

For more details, visit www.altenar.com

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