Italy’s 6,000 betting shops reopened this Monday (15 June) to yet another ‘new dawn’ facing the government’s additional 0.5% wagering tax applied across all betting-related verticals (retail, digital and virtual sports).
The temporary GGR tax is calculated on betting turnover and will be combined with existing net betting duties of 20% for retail, 22% for virtual games and 24% for online.
Enforced until the end of 2021, the GGR tax forms part of the government’s ‘Revival Decree’ mandate in which MPs seek to raise €90 million for the newly formed ‘Fund for the Revitalisation of Sports’.
The publishing of the government’s official decree gazette detailed further information on the sports fund which will be overseen by Italy’s Economic Ministry with the aim of raising €40 million by the end of 2020, and an additional €50 million by 2021.
Despite its good intentions, the sports fund will be reliant on the recovery of Italian betting incumbents devastated by the consequences of the Coronavirus.
Strict lockdown orders saw all bookmakers closed from 9 March, with sports betting further impacted by the three-month postponement of all major sporting events.
Industry sources report that the sports betting turnover is estimated to have dropped to a combined €9 million for retail bookmakers during the lockdown period.
Italy’s embattled bookmakers will now be forced to operate with a net tax increase of 15% during 2020, raising betting aggregate duties from €270 million to €310 million.
However, unexpectedly several MPs have stated that they are ready to file amendments to modify decree laws easing tax burdens on betting incumbents.
Although enforced, the conditions of the Revival Decree are yet to be ratified by the Chamber and Senate into federal law. Italian MPs have approximately 60-days to convince counterparts to amend turnover taxes into net duties.
Fighting in sports betting’s corner, supportive MPs should pinpoint to the dire results recorded across industry.
The suspension all major sporting events caused a drop in online sports betting to €20 million in revenues according to the data by Agipronews.
Retail and digital betting combined results for the period of March to April saw total industry revenues fall by 72% against February figures, the last complete month recorded for Italian sports betting.
Observing industry developments, Marcello Minenna – new Director-General for the ADM Customs and Monopolies -agency underlined that it would take ‘at least a year for the sector to recover‘.
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