The gambling sector in Italy has received no relief from the new government, with Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office announcing that gambling venues will remain closed until a further review on April 6th.
Draghi, who took office as Italy’s new Prime Minister on February 13 after the former DP-5Star coalition government collapsed, is said to have extended a federal decree that keeps land-based gambling venues closed for another month.
Devastation for gambling operators
The country’s betting shops, arcades, gaming halls, casinos, and bingo halls will be closed for a year as a result of the decision, which will be devastating for Italian gambling operators.
Last month, gambling trade unions in Italy held public protests in Milan and Rome, urging the government to lift the government’s lockdown restrictions, which impacted 150,00 industry workers and 400,000 families’ incomes.
The Italian betting industry had urged Draghi’s office to lift venue restrictions in the so-called “yellow zones” of Italy, where COVID infection rates were considered low.
With many businesses nearing bankruptcy, the industry trade group “Legal Gaming Workers” chastised the previous coalition government for keeping a sector that contributes “directly to Italy’s treasury in the dark.”
Furthermore, as more hospitality and leisure venues reopened across provinces, Italian gambling retailers have been given no information about when they will reopen because they are still under a federally imposed lockdown.
Italian businesses are waiting to see how Draghi will draft the EU-guaranteed €250 billion COVID relief package, a duty that tore Italy’s last coalition government apart.