Sustainability: it is not enough to adhere to international standards and rules


While the future of the Italian gaming industry depends on sustainability – be it the impact of the sector on society, the economy and employment or the protection of public order and legality – achieve to a balance can be a complex issue.

On the first day of the SBC Digital Italia Summit, this topic was discussed in more depth through the eyes of the region’s igaming industry leaders during a panel titled “The sustainable future of gaming‘- moderated by Giancarlo Loquenzi, journalist at RAI Radio 1.

Start the conversation about balance within sustainability, Guglielmo Angelozzi, CEO of Lottomatica Group, stressed that this is a “complex but also critical problem” where companies must find a balance between all “interests and needs”.

He continues: “I think that the most important variables to find a balance, in order of priority, are first of all to guarantee the security of the product offer for the protection of customers and the fight against illegality. This question has been open for a long time and we should not ignore it. There is an ethical aspect to be taken into consideration and this needs to be mentioned and discussed.

“We have to recognize that this problem exists and we have to protect the interests of clients. In my opinion, these are the two main variables and the pandemic has made this evident. We have an explosion of illegal games, four million Italians, according to an ipso study, who have used these products.

Yet while Angelozzi referred to protecting clients, Markus Buechele, CEO of Novomatic Italia, stressed that technology is essential when discussing the future of sustainability, stressing its importance for the future of the game and the implementation of the rules.

“Technology is important to the user and we produce games for the legal channel,” added Buechele. “We have assessed the importance of the Italian market. We have modern, transparent regulations and we have longer periods of market stability.

“We have to respond to market demand and try to meet this demand for technological development and that requires investments in RND. The development of technology positively contributes to stability and allows us to find balance.

“I think investing in technology will be the key for the future because it will certainly give us a high level of safety for people, consumers and the state.

“We use our technology exclusively for the legal gaming industry and it is important to focus on innovation and technology development because only the reliability of technology platforms can guarantee the certainty of identifying illegal activities.”

While Buechele and Angelozzi have highlighted areas of balance and focus for the Italian market, Francesco Durante, CEO at Sisal, reiterated the importance of legal gambling in Italy and, while acknowledging that there are problems, is “convinced that the sector is the solution and not the problem”.

He noted: “When it comes to sustainable business models protecting players, but also occupation, we need to change our approach to reaffirm our commitment to player protection. This will be the main challenge for the sector in 10 years.

“The Italian model has already been a benchmark in the world and it is also thanks to the investment made by companies that obtain legal gambling authorization. However, this is no longer enough and we must now move from a compliance process to a commitment process.

“It is not enough to adhere to international standards and rules, but we must focus on the user and invest more in technology, information and communication in order to make a contribution to the culture of games so that it can be balanced in order to prevent problems and protect vulnerable users.

“Over the next 10 years, we would like to focus our investments until we are convinced that we have achieved our goal of zero user problems in Italy.

Moving forward, Loquenzi drew the panel’s attention to the future and asked how the Italian industry can raise awareness of the legal market so that all the money generated can be used for charitable purposes.

Respond to the question, Fabio Schiavolin, CEO of Snaitech, noted that the advertising ban is hampering the gaming industry as well as being a “boomerang” for the sport that has “created a loss of productivity” in the sports supply chain compared to football teams outside from Italy who “continue to profit from the gaming industry”.

He continued, “I believe the lack of communication actually pulls us away from consciousness. It does not help to communicate and interact with the negative perception that the public has of the gaming industry.

“Communication has to move forward. This industry has seen incredible growth in recent years. I have seen this in the quality of managers and CEOs, so the awareness of who we are is a clear fact. Internally, we need to be able to bring it outside.

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