Several LAN And Esports Centers In Italy Forced To Close

Italy’s Customs and Monopoly Agency (ADM) has been shutting down LAN centers and esports bars due to a complaint from local, Sergio Milesi, owner of Esports Palace in Bergamo.

In his official filing, Sergio Milesi asked for clarity regarding the places defined as “digital entertainment parks.” Milesi’s request was carried out because, in LANs, it is possible (by paying a fee) to utilize a series of home entertainment equipment for playing video games without any cash winnings.

According to the complaint, this caused an unfair competition with traditional arcades, a business activity owned by Milesi, who specializes in digital entertainment centers (game rooms, bowling, etc.). It is worth mentioning that the dispute is not be associated with slot machines and similar products, but with the traditional arcade rooms.

The result of the complaint was a shutdown of all related activities that included the usage of consoles, racing simulators, and PCs. During that same night, the ADM forced Esports Palace to close all the gaming stations, turning the gaming room into a catering service only. All the gaming equipment was subsequently impounded.

Italy’s esports industry is short on regulatory framework that can allow businesses to offer these kinds of activities. The shuttered gaming centers were operating in a grey zone where regulations were never created ad hoc for them.

As of right now, most gaming centers will have to wait for further clarifications by public authorities.

(All information was provided by Esports Bets)

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