Categories: Video Games

Are eSports halls illegal?

Are eSports Halls illegal?
Well, if we were to say no on our stomachs.
In recent years we have seen them arrive, grow and evolve, becoming places of aggregation and fun, designed to provide fans with the necessary hardware to try out titles such as Fortnite, League of Legends, Call of Duty and many more. All this in company. And, considering that gaming is often considered a solitary activity, this new social dimension has always been considered a benefit, a plus.
But now the eSports halls are at risk. In fact, a few days ago an exhibit was presented asking to shed light on this kind of activity.

The eSports halls and the exhibit at the Customs Agency

It was to sign the complaint Sergio Milesi, owner of the LED srl, agency operating in the amusement sector.

“In various towns / cities throughout the country we have noticed the start of activities open to the public named by their promoters: ‘Digital entertainment parks’ – ‘Sale Lan’ – ‘Esposts Bar’. From the information in our possession – the complaint cites -, in these premises open to the public, PC workstations with preloaded games are available to customers with the possibility of connecting online and playing on different gaming platforms, Playstation or Xbox console workstations. with preloaded games or with the possibility of accessing the online platforms of console manufacturers to play other games, driving simulators and virtual reality simulators with pre-installed games. In all PCs, consoles and simulators games that are normally intended for the ‘home video’ market are installed and in use by customers ”.

“We believe that the presence of equipment such as those mentioned above in premises open to the public and with the payment by customers of a cost for the use of such equipment, is an evasion of the regulations in force“, Explains Milesi, adding that:“ the gaming arcade sector – also considering article 22, paragraph 1, of law no. 289, and subsequent amendments and additions, which subjects the production, import and management of amusement and entertainment machines suitable for lawful gaming to authorization by the Ministry of Economy and Finance – Autonomous Administration of Monopolies of State on the basis of technical rules defined in agreement with the Ministry of the Interior -, is subject to stringent regulations to prevent equipment installed in public places from being used for illegal gambling while, in the aforementioned premises, simple PCs and consoles connected online are installed, where even underage users can use such equipment without any control and regulation “.

We do not understand how games that are usually on the market for ‘home entertainment’ are made available in premises open to the public for a fee to users, masking the cost of this service in the pure rental of the equipment and not in the use of the game. We believe that these types of activities carried out have legal aspects that your administration must verify, in order to prevent these activities from being used to circumvent the national legislation in force on lawful gaming “.

The presentation concludes by underlining how the activities of the eSports Halls “represent unfair competition with respect to the activity carried out by the undersigned Company which is required to comply zealously and slavishly with the applicable legislation. We reserve the right to report this situation also to the Italian Competition and Market Authority “.

The complaint was then followed by presentation of formal ruling (here the full text), to the attention of the Lombard offices of the same administration, asking if it is possible to install forms of games defined as “esports” inside the arcades, without having to proceed with the homologation activities foreseen for all the other games from the Consolidated Law on Public Safety. All this with the declared objective of expanding the activities of LED srl with the addition of PC stations, consoles and simulators.

The seizure of materials in the eSports Halls

The consequences of the complaint and the subsequent questioning were not long in coming. The Customs Agency put the stations and the material present in the eSports Halls are under seizure present on the Italian territory, as told on Instagram by eSport Palace Bergamo.

The owners of the eSports Halls have obviously turned to their lawyers but to unblock the situation it will probably take a long time, which risks putting these activities in serious difficulty.

Published by
Marco Dellapina

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