Italian betting industry leaders are absolutely bewildered by the possibility of having a new tax imposed in Italy. They have criticised the parliamentary discussions for slapping a new 0.75% tax on betting and virtual sports revenues for garnering funds for ‘distressed Italian sports.’
The Italian Parliament has started discussions on a proposed ‘Revival Decree’, which is intended to help business and society’s recovery from COVID-19’s long-term consequences. Some of the members of the parliament talked about a possible implementation of a 0.75% tax on all betting-related wagers – online, retail and virtual sports content.
The discussion caused an outraged from the Italian gambling trade bodies who criticised the proposal, alleging that COVID-19 discussions had been hijacked to further punish the industry.
Retail trade bodies Acadi (gaming machines) and Sistema Gioco (betting shops) released a joint statement calling for the Parliament to immediately drop any talks on “hypothetical taxes at a time when Italian gambling is living in anguish”. Both organisations have suggested that their members are “in bewilderment that the government would pursue a 0.75% sports wagering tax, that would increase the overall tax burden on Italian betting’s commercial chain to over 30%.”
Writing to Parliament, President Moreno Marasco of LOGiCO stated that licenced online incumbents should not “digest an umpteenth tax that harasses legal firms to operate in a market that has doubled its tax demand to + 40%.”
He warned that “The threat of a wagering tax represents the extinction of the legal circuit with the consequence of lost guarantees and protections, leading to the “flight” of international operators. A real gift to the underworld that will continue to thrive in this sector.”
[image: Rough Guides]