SKS365 Group, the operating company of Italian bookmaker PlanetWin365, has been charged by the Italian Financial Police of corporate tax evasion totalling €124 million.
The tax evasion charge forms part of Italian Police’s wider ‘Glassia’ anti-Mafia investigation, undertaken during the course of 2018, which saw 60 people arrested and €1 billion seized in illegal funds.
Conducting a probe of gambling activities in the regions of Catania, Reggio Calabria and Bari, Italian police uncovered a ‘sophisticated money-laundering network’ utilised by three Mafia families.
The probe, which has been branded as Italy’s biggest AML investigation, found that the Mafia networks had knowingly used the services of Malta-licensed betting firms’ Planetwin365, Revolutionbet, Bet1128, Betaland and Enjoybet as money laundering vehicles.
Operating Planetwin365, the biggest bookmaker implicated in the Glassia scandal, SKS365 has been charged by the Financial Police of failing to declare approximately €4 billion in taxable income during the period 2015-2016.
In its summon, the Police states that SKS365 has benefited from illegal gambling activities and must payback €6 million in regional taxes, €71 million in income taxes, combined with a further €47 million in corporation taxes.
SKS365 Group maintains that it had cooperated fully with the Glassia probe, which investigated the bookmaker’s activities during a period that it traded as SKS365 Malta, managed by an entirely separate executive team.
It underlined that the Glassia-related tax violations occurred under its previous owners, as the company was sold to Dutch private equity fund Ramphastos Investments in late 2016 for €150 million.
Furthermore, the betting group maintains that the taxable income was generated by a Malta franchise established to operate during a transitional period for Italian gambling, in which the government granted European-licensed operators amnesty as Italy established its licensing framework during 2015.