Italy Launches Game Tracker App to Help Stop Black Market Gambling

Posted: Nov 4, 2021, 11:17 p.m.

Last update on: November 4, 2021, 11:38 a.m.

The Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) has announced the launch of a new app that will provide the public with all information on land and online gambling operators. The government hopes the app will help stop black market gambling activity.

Marcello Minenna, Italy, customs director, anti-mafia
Marcello Minenna, the head of the Italian Customs and Monopoly Agency, seen above. Minenna facilitated the introduction of a new mobile app that provides access to information on regulated gaming companies in the country. (Image: Imagoeconomica – Daniele Scudieri)

The app, named “Gioco sicuro”, will be available in IOS and Android stores from this month.

According to ADM, the app, whose name translates to “Safe Gaming”, will allow Italian citizens to check compliance with all non-dedicated outlets. It will also provide the license status of all gaming products.

ADM’s Managing Director, Marcello Minienna, has authorized the development of the applications, which are intended to protect Italian gamers against threats from mafia gambling networks. Minenna said her top priority was to tackle black market operations in Italy.

ADM is one of the five entities that support the country’s tax program.

Knock down the crowd

Minienna was appointed head of ADM in 2019, following federal police fallout and the Anti-Mafia Unit’s Glassia investigation. This found over one billion euros ($ 1.155 billion) in assets related to illegal gambling.

Minenna was appointed by former president Giuseppe Conte to oversee ADM’s oversight of the gambling industry and fight corruption.

As many land-based casinos in Italy feel the pressure of COVID-19 closures, organized crime in the country has increased, according to officials in the country. Casino.org spoke to a former senator, Gianfranco Pasquino, earlier this year, who claimed organized crime was profiting from the pandemic and casino closures.

Federico Cafiero De Rao, the national anti-mafia prosecutor, estimates that the Italian black market is worth more than 20 billion euros ($ 23 billion). He has said in press conferences that this indicator is worrying because it shows how prolific the Mafia is in infiltrating almost all industries.

More restrictions likely to come

Italy is introducing a new mobile tool designed to give individuals in the country access to data on the status of gaming operators, including whether they are licensed. It also provides a mechanism to more easily report questionable activity to regulators and authorities.

Italy has made several attempts to reduce the influence of organized crime on the country. There have been a number of high profile searches and seizures, particularly in the past three years.

Despite obvious threats, the Italian government has maintained its restrictive approach to the governance of licensed operators in the country. Companies are required to follow strict compliance procedures regarding player checks. There is also a general advertising ban which has been in place for a few years.

Italian gambling players are waiting to see if the government will add gambling amendments in the 2022 finance law to further improve the regulated market. The composition of this legislation is critical for the Italian game.

ADM to review concessions at 10,000 retail outlets / sites. This will impact local operators working under brands such as Snaitech Lottomatica, Sisal, Eurobet and others.

Organized crime still under control

Despite multiple attempts to crack down on organized crime, Italy still faces a number of problems, especially in the gaming market. Earlier this year, a major law enforcement action used serious resources to investigate hundreds of individuals suspected of being involved in illegal gambling.

Among the group, 23 were at the top of the list of the biggest offenders, and all had suspected ties to the Cosa Nostra mob. Police seized more than $ 95 million in assets and more than 355 people were ultimately trapped in the investigation. However, as large as the bust is, a trial involving the ‘Ndrangheta crime family is even more important.


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