Sergio Mattarella signs economic relief package for gambling operators allowing them to delay payment of taxes and licence fees until end of May
In order to relieve individuals and businesses who have been affected by the health crisis COVID-19, Italy’s head of state Sergio Mattarella has signed an economic relief package. The ‘Curia Italia’ package will allow a number of sectors, including the country’s land-based gaming industry to benefit from delayed payment of taxes and licence fees until end of May. This also applies to Bingo operators and Video Lottery Terminals.
Despite an uptick in online activity a number of operators have been hard hit by the retail shutdown. Playtech are amongst those that have faced the closure of their facility in the Philippines, although their core B2B gambling casino business 'has seen limited impact' with poker and bingo seeing 'increased interest'.
In an update released yesterday, Playtech said that: “Playtech’s Poker and Bingo businesses have seen increases in activity in recent days following the restrictions on physical movement put in place by various governments. The Company believes there is a risk that player behaviour changes the longer the COVID-19 situation continues.”
They caution that live casino and live dealer offerings may be disrupted as more governments opt for a “Shelter in Place” solution. This has been the case in at least one country. “Playtech’s facility in the Philippines has been closed with traffic being redirected to other facilities. While its facilities in Riga and other locations currently remain operational, there is a risk that these facilities will need to close in the future.”
There are have also been suggestions to the Italian government about cancelling the prohibition on gambling advertising and sponsorship for Italy’s top football league “Serie A” which took effect last summer. Just by reversing the sponsorship ban, the football league estimates it could reel in an additional 100 million euros in revenue per year.
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