Italy’s fiscal ministries ponder 1% betting turnover tax charge 

To the dismay of Italian bookmakers, Valentina Vezzali, Undersecretary for Sports, has secured a debate on the introduction of a fixed 1% tax on betting turnover.

The Sports Minister is reported to have held a meeting with Italy’s fiscal ministries to examine a further tax rise on betting incumbents.

In attendance were representatives of Italy’s Treasury and gambling regulator ADM the Agency of Customs and Monopolies – accompanied by the ministries of Economic Development, Labour Policy, Finance Commission, and the Income Revenue Office.

Following the group’s initial discussion on 29 March, Italian media reports that a new meeting will be held in fifteen days’ time, in which the ministries are expected to present individual proposals and considerations related to the tax charge.  

Should the policy be approved, Italian bookmakers will once again have to accommodate a further fiscal burden imposed on their businesses.

Latest industry figures detailed that the combined wagering of sports (online/retail) virtual games and horseracing drew a yearly average turnover of around €16 billion.

A new 1% tax charge on betting revenues would secure Italy’s tax treasury a further €160 million in betting duties on top of the €500 million collected from licensed incumbents fixed 18% retail and 22% online GGR duties.

As stands, Italian bookmakers face another gut punch dished out by tax ministries, that during the COVID-19 pandemic applied a 0.5% betting levy on wagers to help support Italian sports.

Adopted as a measure of Italy’s ‘COVID-19 Revival Decree’ – the temporary tax charge that was applied for 18-months during 2020/2021 raised €90 million supporting the government’s economic plans. 

Though yet to be presented with formal plans, bookmakers have rallied against the tax charge stating that it will present another gift to the black market that will gain a sportsbook advantage on licensed incumbents.

Betting analysts outlined that a 1% turnover tax would equate to a likely  10%-20% revenue reduction. A negative factor that will likely see Italian bookmakers significantly curtail their market prices, forcing customers to wager with unlicensed sportsbooks.

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