Stanleybet Group has disclosed that it has paid betting taxes ‘for the first time’ to Italy’s ADM Customs and Monopolies Agency.
The heritage pan-European betting group filed an ‘F24 form’ via its Malta subsidiary, required to submit taxes related to its Italian betting shop presence for the period of 1 January to 31 December 2022 – legally by 31 January 2023.
ADM General Manager Marcello Minenna and the department’s top gambling officials were informed directly of the payment via a letter sent by Stanleybet governance.
The operator still seeks to resolve its 25-year dispute with the ADM, related to being frozen out of Italy’s licensing system and impeded further from participating in Italian sportsbook tenders.
Stanleybet entered the Italian betting market in 1998, requesting authorisation from the Italian Ministry of Finance to acquire 100 betting shops from former monopoly SNAI, a concession overseen by the ADM.
A year later, the ADM refused Stanleybet to participate in further betting shop concessions, citing a ‘disqualification clause’ which excluded foreign publicly listed companies from submitting tenders – a decision directly contested by Stanleybet.
Stanleybet maintains that its presence in Italy has been certified as four arbitrations by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), with rulings verified by Italy’s Court of Cassation and the Council of State which ruled its “discrimination in its access to the Licensing system”.
Despite securing legal precedence, Stanleybet noted consecutive interferences by the ADM to deny the company entry into Italy’s licensing system.
Between 2014-to-2017, the ADM initiated multiple trials “against top Stanley executives and against network owners”. In doing so, the firm detailed that ADM effectively prevented and made its participation in those procedures impossible due to “lack of subjective requisites”.
Throughout the dispute, Stanleybet believes that it sought a “favoured path of dialogue” with the regulator in which it “never filed a complaint against ADM, despite all the crime reports that have been filed and concluded in its favour”.
Given consecutive failed attempts to engage and resolve the matter with the ADM, the board of Stanleybet decided to “start paying the unique tax, exercising the right to pay taxes in Italy like any licensed operator”.
The Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) has been informed of Stanleybet’s payment and desire to be fully accredited within Italy’s regulated market, and was further thanked for its support on the long-running dispute.
The statement concluded: “Stanleybet hopes that ADM will consider this initiative not as a challenge, but as an act of wisdom, in the best interests of the Italian State.”