A new Italian gambling tax could sink sports betting businesses

  • Italy is considering a tax raise of 0.75% on all gambling revenue that includes sportsbooks in the country.
  • The “Revival Decree” is a proposal that would implement this tax raise to try and boost the economy in Italy as they try to come back from the Coronavirus pandemic.

BOSTONThe Parliament of Italy would like to add a 0.75% tax hike on all betting revenues which includes sports betting to cover the losses caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

This new tax would be applied to every avenue of gambling from land-based establishments to internet platforms and all virtual sports betting outlets in between.

The proposal known as the “Revival Decree” has received backlash from people in the gambling industry in response to the potential tax raise to their businesses.

The Revival Decree

The Italian Parliament is not targeting only the legal gaming market but many other areas of the economy as well.

Italy has been hit hard by financial burdens due to COVID-19 and the government is looking for any new ways to make up some of that loss. But those in the gaming industry are against the tax raise.

Sporting events around the globe have all but ceased causing sportsbooks in Italy to take a major hit to their businesses. Operators believe that having to be taxed even more than they are now when business has been so bad will only cause more problems for them trying to keep their companies afloat.

Gambling operations have similar feelings on the issue as they too have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and a decline in profits.

 “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, said Moreno Marasco, president of LOGiCO, in a letter to the Parliament, “A real gift to the underworld that will continue to thrive in this sector.”

Marasco suggests that the market in Italy would lose many of their players to mobile betting platforms in other countries that will profit from Italian gamblers, causing more of a loss to the economy because of the tax raise they may impose.

Gaming machine company Acadi, along with the betting facilities company Sistema Gioco came together to give a joint statement on the 0.75% tax raise.

They are in agreement that it would be a bigger financial burden on an industry that already pays a high tax rate on revenue upwards of 30%.

“This umpteenth tax, if implemented, will hit the betting point network hard, a category that is already suffering the serious damage of the prolonged lockdown and is experiencing with anguish a situation that, to date, sees no real date for reopening by the institutions, let alone any real support intervention to overcome the crisis, discriminating against it even in this dramatic situation compared to what is expected in other sectors’,” read the statement.

In the end, the Parliament of Italy will have the final say as to whether or not to raise taxes in the gaming industry.

The economy is in dire need of financial help with the lockdown they have endured due to the Coronavirus.

However, extra taxes on sports betting and gambling in the country may dwindle these businesses into extinction as they’ve not been profiting during this time either.

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