Workers in the embattled gambling industry in Italy are unified to be heard by a new government, requesting that corporations be given clarification on their prolonged suspensions due to COVID-19.
Uniting under the banner of ‘Legal Gaming Workers’, on 18 February, employees of Italian licensed gambling companies will hold joint public demonstrations at Piazza del Duomo in Milan and Piazza del Popolo in Rome.
Support for Milan and Rome protest
Both Italian gambling trade bodies and unions have supported the Milan and Rome protest, stressing that prolonged closures of gambling venues have affected the livelihoods of 150,00 industry employees and 400,000 additional family incomes.
Organisers called for a rally as Italian gambling venues and betting shops were imposed as a federal order near a full-year lockdown across most of Italy’s provinces.
Protestors would require the government to amend its compliance regulations immediately, enabling betting shops and gambling venues to re-open within the ‘Covid-mild yellow zone’ regions of Italy.
Over 170 affected firms, comprising of bingo halls, betting shops, arcades, bars and equipment suppliers, who’ve already faced months without any government update on the reopening of venues, are confirmed to have sponsored the protest.
Legal Gaming Workers claimed in its announcement that it will conduct a “dignified protest for the workers of licensed gaming venues – a sector that contributes €4,5 billion per year in taxes” and that should be recognised as the “last defence against the black market.”
The protest announcement coincides with the Parliamentary vote this week to authorize the formation of a new coalition government headed by former ECB President Mario Draghi.
During uncertain times, bringing much-needed stability, Italian banks and companies are waiting to see how Draghi can draft the budget plans for Italy’s €250 billion EU-guaranteed Covid relief package, a controversial duty that divided Italy’s last coalition government.