Gambling, the law of contrast of the junta Cirio in Piedmont is an amnesty for some managers of slot

In the Region administered by the center-right, the new measure allows the premises that were in a situation of irregularity - because they were too close to "sensitive" places according to the previous law - not to have to remove video lotteries and slots if the opening of these places is chronologically later. The oppositions: "An amnesty that creates monopolists".


There is talk of contrast, but it seems an amnesty for the managers of slot rooms and betting. The council of Alberto Cirio does a favor to the gaming industry and relaunches slot machines and video lottery thanks to some exemptions to the rules that, since 2016, impose minimum distances between the premises with these devices and some places considered sensitive, reports the site

After the failed attempts of the regional councilors of the League, blocked not only by the opposition and third sector associations, but also by some allies, today the Piedmontese executive approved a bill called "Contrasto alla diffusione del gioco d'azzardo patologico (gap)" behind which are hidden, not even too veiled, derogations.

In 2016, Piedmont had adopted a law against ludopathy that imposed certain limitations on activities, such as minimum distances between establishments with slot machines or video lotteries (those with richer bets and winnings) and certain places such as schools, centers for the elderly, but also banks, ATMs and compro-gold, to prevent pathological players, with an addiction to gambling, from getting money to continue playing.

The law also applied to those establishments that were in an irregular situation, obliging them to comply and remove the equipment within 18 months (for bars and tobacconists) and within three and five years for betting and slot rooms, terms that expire in twenty days. Precisely against this principle of "retroactivity" the League had taken sides.

On several occasions over the past year, the majority party has tried to pursue its intent until, after the demonstrations of associations such as ACLI, CGIL, Legambiente, Libera and Gruppo Abele, Arsenale della pace and others, and after 65 thousand amendments submitted by the oppositions, on April 21 withdrew the proposal. Today, just one month later, the rules against retroactivity return from the window.

The text, reads the note of the junta, states that "the distance to 400 meters from places considered sensitive (including gold shops, ATMs, schools, hospitals) is not applicable (...) in the event that the opening of these sensitive places occurs chronologically after the opening of the premises in which they are installed equipment for legal gaming. In addition, "those who have decommissioned the apparatuses under Law 9/2016 may apply to reinstall them without this being considered a new opening. Therefore, the retroactive effect of the old law is eliminated." And this was the central point of the rejected Leghist proposal.

The text also provides some measures against the gap, such as controls on the age of players and the possibility of using the slots by activating them with the tax code or health card, the allocation of one million euros per year to combat ludopathy, the establishment of a day "Slots, no thanks! "but also the creation of a specific section against the gap at the Epidemiological Observatory of Pathological Dependencies.

"With this bill we invest one million euros per year to combat gambling and simultaneously heal a problem that was created with the old law, ie the retroactivity of a rule that harmed the legal operators of a sector in which thousands of people work," said the regional councilor, Fabrizio Ricca.


"The junta will allow the slot rooms that have not adapted to Law 9 of 2016 and the rules on distance meters to enjoy in 20 days not only an amnesty that will allow him to get out of illegality and stay in place, but to even become monopolists who will be able to cede their concession to new entrepreneurs," denounces the group leader of Liberi Equals Greens, Marco Grimaldi.

He speaks of "dangerous amnesty" Raffaele Gallo, leader of the PD group in the council:

"Waiting to read the new text and to be able to make the appropriate evaluations, I want to make it clear from the outset that we will continue to defend a law in which we believe and that has curbed and countered a serious pathology that impacts hard on society, which impoverishes and destroys citizens and families. It is worth repeating once again - underlines Giorgio Bertola, councilor of the October 4 Movement (former M5s) and president of the legality commission - that three years after the entry into force of Law 9 of 2016, gambling in Piedmont has fallen by 9.7% (compared to an increase of 1.6% in the rest of Italy), the losses of citizens have decreased by 17.8% and two thirds of the sums not played in 2018 have not been reinvested in other games".

Not only that:

"It is useless for Councillor Ricca to tell us about the million euros per year provided in the new text to combat ludopathy - adds the Dem Domenico Rossi - the resources were also provided with the previous law, too bad that President Cirio and his council have not spent a penny".