Italy’s government plans to establish a new 0.5% tax against the turnover generated by sports betting operators licensed within the marketplace. The Italian government aims to generate €90 million by the time 2021 concludes as part of a strategy to aid the recovery of national sport in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Known nationally as “Decreto Rilancio”, Decree-Law 34 outlines an array of measures implemented to support the Italian economy and healthcare system. It was passed in the middle of May and includes the Revitalisation of the National Sports System. Credit for its foundation is given to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, which will also be responsible for its management.
A Temporary Measure
The new tax on sports betting revenue is intended to cover online and retail wagering. Any sports betting operators licensed in Italy are expected to pay the tax every quarter up to 31 December 2021, at which point the tax could be removed if the €90 million target is reached.
For the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the goal is to generate €40 million for the remainder of 2020 and then €50 million in 2021. Decree-Law 34 states that the tax could even be removed before 31 December 2021 if the €90 million goal is reached early.
This remains to be seen, however, with Italian sports betting operators suffering a 59.3% drop to €75.3 million in revenue for March 2020. That was followed by an even more dramatic 72.7% decline to €20.6 million in April 2020, with all major sports suspended following COVID-19 lockdown protocols.
Moreno Marasco of LOGiCO, Italy’s association of gambling operators, believes that the tax is “inappropriate and unsustainable” and will be taken advantage of by off-shore operators. Marasco also explained that even a 1% levy is akin to gross revenue tax of 20%.