Over the next twelve months, Italy will be inundated with 50,000 to 60,000 Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs). These terminals will operate on a dedicated intranet, allowing them to communicate with one another and with the main servers; this infrastructure will also allow all VLT activity to be monitored in real-time.
The path being taken by this massive wave of VLTs was laid down a different sort of gambling machine called Amusements with Prizes (AWPs). The recent explosion throughout Italy of AWPs helped pave the way for the introduction and acceptance of VLTs by the general public. Other contributing factors include recent amendments to the licensing and regulation procedures governing online gambling in Italy, as well as the Italian government’s working understanding of just how profitable legalized gambling can be.
Italy’s gambling market, including both offline gambling and online gambling, generated in excess of €8 billion in tax revenues last year, from a total turnover of about €50 billion. The government is becoming increasingly reliant on the money provided by gambling services in Italy, and is more than eager to see VLTs take their hold.
VLTs in Italy are the subject of an upcoming conference being held in Rimini in mid-March. Speakers include regulators, machine manufactures, and other groups involved in everything from the construction to the dissemination of VLTs across Italy. The goal of the event is to increase both awareness and understanding of the new gambling system.
Since the rules regarding internet gambling in Italy changed last year, the country has seen an astonishing increase in the availability of gambling. 2010 promises to be a year of change, and the introduction of VLTs to the country’s gambling halls will be a vital part of the ongoing evolution of gambling in Italy.