Italian bookmakers face cruel summer as ADM sanctions shop closures

The Italian government has signalled no reprieve for embattled bookmakers, as it indicates that betting shops which have failed to pay their tax duties will be closed within the coming months.

Last week, Marcello Minenna, the newly appointed Director-General of Italy’s ADM (customs and monopolies agency) begun discussions with Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (GDF – financial police unit) ‘establishing a process’ to close down non-compliant stores and betting points.

In order to sanction closures, Minenna must secure an agreement with GDF counterparts, as the federal police unit which enforces Italian business penalties and cessations.

Operating as Italian gambling’s regulatory agency, the ADM states that it holds the right to enforce business closures, following the approval of new gambling amendments sanctioned under Italy’s ‘2020 Budget Law, which parliament approved last December.

The ADM has warned against bookmakers appealing its enforcement, reminding betting leadership that Budget Law gambling amendments had been formally granted approval by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – whose judgement stated that new laws “do not infringe on the business conditions of the European Treaty”.

Approving of Italy’s new laws, The ECJ ruled that “betting duty is not discriminatory and must be imposed to all operators with operations in the Italian territory, without any distinction based on the registered office”.

Taking leadership of the ADM during national lockdown, Minenna underlined that he would continue the agency’s toughest stance on monitoring of Italian gambling incumbents – in which the ADM seeks to collect a reported €120 million in unpaid taxes since 2018.

The ADM states that it currently awaits on the Corte di Cassazione (Italian Supreme Court) judgement on 200 outstanding gambling tax convictions ‘by the end of the summer’.


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