Poker evolution in Italy: Laws and AMMS
September 22, 2021|Sponsored
4 min read
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Italy is one of the countries where the game of poker is still booming, despite the difficult years of financial and economic crisis in the world. And the reason is simple: Italians love to play.
Poker in Italy is recognised as a game of skill and Italians are good at playing poker. The first gambling set-up to come in Italy was in the city of Venice in 1638. Baccarat and bingo were first played and invented in Italy. It happened just before the start of the 16th century. 
The way to play real money poker games across the country is land-based casinos and online casinos. The biggest and most famous is Casinò Municipale di Sanremo which hosted numerous major tournaments, including the European Poker Tour. The Casino di Sanremo has nearly 500 slot machines and a limited number of table games, including poker, blackjack, roulette, both French and American, and Baccarat. There are several poker tournaments that the casino hosts manually. The Casino Sanremo also offers electronic games including video poker, jackpot slots, keno, and electronic roulette. 
The other venues featuring local poker rooms in Italy are Casino di Campione and Casino di Venezia. Italy is also famous for its sports betting centres, Milan being the city where there are a large number of betting places.
Poker regulation in Italy
According to Italian criminal law, gambling is illegal, irrespective of whether the game is organised in a public place or a private club. However, there's a difference between games of luck and games where the outcome depends on the player's skill. Sports betting, lotteries, and some other activities fall into the category of legal and regulated gambling activities.
In Europe, many countries decided to introduce new laws to regulate the poker and gambling area. The sector is currently legal in the Italy and is governed by the government’s gambling commission. The gambling sector in Italy is regulated by the Agenzia Dogane e Monopolio di Stato (AAMS), a regular body entity created to set the gambling laws and rules in Italy.
In 2006, Italy changed its gambling laws to be less restrictive in which the games involving skills are no longer illegal and the games of pure luck have also become absolutely controlled.
Italy was the first country to successfully establish poker tax revenues. The country began to control online gambling within the country in 2007, when the Finance Act 2007 was created to legitimize all skill-based card games, including poker. This game regulation legalized the various variants of poker, including not only Texas Hold'em, the famous type of poker, but many other games like video poker or games based on the same rules that were previously prohibited and that depend entirely on pure luck.
Four years later, Italian laws began to allow Italians to play online poker for real money. These new rules also extended to other games including sports betting. With this regulation, the tax regime related to the poker game is based on profits only rather than turnover. The lottery legalized games must pay a flat rate of 20%. The operators who organize sports and horse betting, skill games, and lotteries, must pay a tax of 3% of total tournament buy-ins sold.
AAMS responsibilities
The Agenzia Dogane e Monopolio di Stato (AAMS) is responsible to set the gambling laws and rules in Italy. They are responsible for setting licence fees and defining the taxation area of the players and operators must pay. In addition, the regulator body has the right to block and fine any gambling operator that does not follow the laws imposed. The punishment for breaking the law ranges from fines to imprisonment.
AAMS issue licences to any firm that is in the European Economic Area, the servers of online gambling activities providers can be located anywhere.
Non AAMS casinos
Non AAMS Casinos are those casinos holding licences from other countries authorities like Maltese (Malta Gaming Authority), UK (Gambling Commission), Swedish (Swedish Gambling Authority) ones. They are still reliable and safe to play. 
The rise of Italian players playing poker game in online casinos is impressive. The gambling area has recorded one of its highest growth rates comparing other sectors. However, many Italians gambling players are not happy with the Italian gambling laws and decided to opt-in at international casinos sites that hold other types of licenses. 
According to Non-aams.com, the popularity of casinos licensed outside of Italy is growing rapidly due to increased rewards for customers and lack of limits and restrictions.
The fact is the feature where they surely overpower Italian operators burdened with high taxes is bonuses. Non AAMS casinos bonuses are more aggressive – they usually have better bonus promotions and offer more free spins to the players.
Disclaimer: Play responsibly. Players must be over 18. For help visit https://www.gamcare.org.uk​.
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