Italian MPs approve new betting turnover tax of 0.5%

The turnover tax on betting operators will remain in place until at least December 2021, or until yearly quotas are reached

MPs in Italy have approved the introduction of a 0.5% turnover tax on licensees’ sports betting turnover to fund the recovery of the country’s sports following the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The tax is expected to raise €90 million by the end of 2021.

Italy government parliament building Italian MPs recently signed the Revival Decree creating a turnover tax.

The so-called “Revival Decree”, or Decree Law no. 34, also puts a number of other measures covering Italy’s healthcare system into place, including additional support for businesses.

Italian operator association Lega Operatori di Gioco su canale Online (LOGiCO) described the new tax as “inappropriate and unsustainable” from economic and legal points of view, contravened the principle of tax equity and threatened to benefit offshore operators.

Moreno Marasco, who is the Director of LOGiCO – an Italian online gambling trading body – was concerned about the government’s changes. He said that the government had given a "gift to the underworld" as this move could empower unregulated operators.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance plans to collect up to €40 million by 2020, then another €50 million by 2021 via this new tax. The decree also stated that the tax can be removed sooner if the full-year target is reached before its expiry date.

The tax levy arrives with the online and land-based sport betting industries in Italy suffering badly from the suspension of all major sporting competitions. This resulted in a 59.3% decrease in betting sales in March to €75.3 million, before plummeting 72.7% in April to just €20.6 m.

The Italian government has also made it clear that they intend on reducing the number of betting operators in the country from 80 to 53 by 2023.

 

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