Austrian sports betting operator SKS365 Group, which owns the planetwin365 brand, has secured a significant number of land-based licences in Italy as it looks to increase its retail presence across the country.

The licence approval will see SKS365 turn independent Italian data transmission centres, known as CTDs, into nationally licensed betting shops under the planetwin365 brand.

With 1001 licences, it has the highest number of directly connected sports betting outlets in the country, the company claimed.

The company secured the licences following a number of legal disputes with the Italian authorities, with the country’s Court of Cassation ruling last week that SKS365 had been the victim of discrimination, blocking it from operating in the market.

However the passage of Italy’s new Stability Law last week, which allows companies to secure betting shop licences with immediate effect and compete for licensing tenders from 2016, has helped the operator enter the market.

SKS365 chief executive Thomas Smallwood described the new legislation as “a big opportunity for Italy” and his company.

“We have now finally been given a framework that makes it possible for us to serve Italian customers in a nationally regulated way,” he explained. “It is obviously a major investment from our side, which we believe is worthwhile seeing the great popularity of our product in Italy.”

“Now the challenge is to continue bringing our unrivalled sportsbook and maximising customer value within the Italian regulations,” Smallwood continued. “We are confident that the known quality and variety of our product and the dominant brand position of planetwin365 is the perfect base to succeed in this new era.”

The operator will also launch a licensed Italian iGaming site to replace its dot.com domain in the country.

SKS365’s entrance to Italy sees the business continue its plans to expand into new European markets, after announcing plans to enter the Spanish online betting and gaming market at the end of last year. It also operates betting shops in Austria, Serbia, Romania and Belgium.

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