Italy Continues Gambling Operator Woe With Increased Taxes

Italy Continues Gambling Operator Woe With Increased Taxes ( Click to Enlarge )

The New Year in Italy sees a continuation of government clamp downs on the casino sector. The Italian government had already announced a ban on all gambling advertising effective from 1 January 2019, but it is continuing to crack down on the gambling sector by introducing a number of tax increases.

New Italian Gambling Taxes

On 2 January the Italian government announced a number of tax increases for gambling companies which will take place with immediate effect. Online casinos are impacted quite hard by these new taxes which include:

– From 1 January all licence applications for iGaming will be subjected to taxes of 25% of the gross gaming revenue for bingo and online casinos. This is a 5% increase.

– Fixed odds betting taxes will be increased to 24% of gross gaming revenues (GGR).

– All sports betting operators will be subject to a GGR tax of 20%, with virtual sports taxes increasing to 22% of GGR.

– Tax increases of an additional 1.35% are also being levied on amusement machines offering prizes and 1.25% on all video lottery terminals.

When Was The Legislation Enacted?

These new Italian tax regulations were passed through government in December as one part of Italy’s 2019 budget plans. It’s aimed to cut the Italian budgetary deficit to around 2.04% of GDP. The full budget proposal was originally rejected by the European Union, however, revised plans were accepted and they were approved by the Italian government towards the end of 2018.

Impact On Casino Brands

These casino tax increases will impact significantly on the profits of casinos and their suppliers. The Playtech organisation has already stated that the changes are likely to result in a 25mn drop in its profits for 2019. However, the company may introduce changes of some kind in order to mitigate the effect of the taxes.

Advertising Ban On Gambling

The ban on all gambling advertising and sponsorship is also effective from 1 January 2019. Although any current sponsorship deals will be allowed to run up to the end dates, there won’t be any further opportunity for renewals.