The Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) of Italy is suffering from the major setback as they have to comply with any restrictions imposed. The retail gaming giant Gamenet of Italy reported that VLT revenue of the first two weeks of 2020 has reduced by one third as compared to the same time period of last year. The report has been published last week. The company informed that the decline is worse than the decline of 2019 which was recorded at a single digit.
As per the new rule imposed from January 1, the players need to insert the government-issued health card to access the VLT machine. This has been done to restrict the involvement of the youth accessing the machine. Many believe that this has been done in order to monitor the signs of problem gambling behavior. However, the government denies this.
Some of them argue that the use of the cards is redundant as a person needs to be of legal age to enter the establishment. Some of the operators have also complained that this has been done to force away tourists and other residents who do not have government health cards.
As per a local TV station, one of the operators was found giving access to the VLT to the tourists who do not have the health card. However, they had a special card to access the VLT machine and that has been termed as a loophole to the system.
There has been more set back on the VLT operators due to tax increase on VLT and Amusement with prizes (AWP). It is being said that the players have started losing interest in the VLT and also the machines had to be taken offline to reconfigure the necessary changes.
The government is planning to issue nine new gaming machine concessions with 200K slots, 50K VLTs, and 35K AWPs. The individual concessions would be valid for 9 years and would cost €2.5m, a piece. However, with the growing difference between the operators and the government over VLT, this might be a problem.