Kindred Group Plc has moved to consolidate its Italian market presence under its flagship Unibet sportsbook brand.
The decision sees the Stockholm-listed operator retire its 32Red (32Red.it) subsidiary from the Italian market.
32Red had maintained an Italian sportsbook presence since 2012, prior to the firm’s £175 takeover by Kindred Plc in 2017, a strategic acquisition primarily undertaken to significantly boost Kindred’s market presence within the UK.
This week, 32Red issued notice to its Italian player base that it would be terminating its services on 30 November, with all accounts given the possibility to transfer to Unibet.it.
Issuing a statement to SBC, Kindred underlined that its closure of 32Red.it was simply a strategic decision to concentrate its Italian market presence Unibet, the firm’s lead pan-European sportsbook property.
“Kindred remains committed to the Italian market. We are constantly reviewing our brand footprint and wish to provide our customers with the best brand option and experience,” it commented on the matter.
Kindred reiterated that 32Red’s Italian withdrawal was not as a result of recent market changes, in which the government has sanctioned a temporary 0.5% turnover tax across all wagering verticals (retail and online).
The turnover tax was introduced as part of the ‘Covid Revival Decree’ as the Italian government seeks to secure €90 million in the next 12-months to safeguard Italian grassroot sports programmes impacted by the pandemic.
The addition of a 0.5% turnover tax rate has seen bookmakers complain to Italy’s ADM customs and monopolies agency, arguing that Italy has implemented the highest European tax rate on sportsbook equivalent to 33-34% GGR – without undertaking any market consultations.
Last month, Flutter Entertainment confirmed that is was reviewing whether to withdraw its exchange product from the market as its could not function with any form of turnover tax imposed on its business model.