Italy changes tax rules for online and retail betting

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The Italian government has passed new turnover-based tax rules in an amendment to the Stability Law, which is in favour of a model-based on gross gaming revenue of online sports betting operators.

The amendments dictate that operators will have to pay 22 percent taxes on online betting from January 1 2016. Taxes on retail sports betting will be applied to the difference between the amount played and the winnings paid at a rate of 18 per cent if the collection is carried out physically, or 22 per cent if carried out remotely. For online bingo, there will be a single tax of 20 per cent of the cashbox from January 1, 2017.

Betting firms currently have to pay turnover tax ranging from 2 to 5 per cent depending on the type of wager. While the new taxes on online betting revenue will be higher than on online poker, casino and bingo revenue, the industry is still expected to welcome a change to the previous – widely unpopular – rules.

Among the novelties will also be a tax increase to 17.5 per cent of the unified state tax on devices with cash prizes, while the increase for VLTs will rise to 5.5 per cent.

The authorities expect to collect an extra €15m annually from 2016 to 2018, in addition to the €171m already taken from AWPs and VLTs.

Italy is also pushing forward with plans to revise its gambling advertising laws, including a prohibition on gambling ads between 7am and 10pm during ‘generic’ television and radio programmes. The country will also grant €50m for prevention and treatment of problem gambling.


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