Italy’s Gambling Industry Facing New Taxes, Additional Changes This Month

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Italy’s Gambling Industry Facing New Taxes, Additional Changes This Month

Italy’s gambling industry is thriving. It slipped a little earlier this year, but the continued growth of the market is leading to changes, including the introduction of an increased tax on sports betting.

Piazza Venezia, Rome, Italy
Piazza Venezia, Rome, Italy
Italian flags fly in front of Piazza Venezia in Rome, Italy. The country is updating its sports betting laws, including adding new taxes. (Image: Pinterest)

In 25 days, Italy’s new betting decree, published yesterday in the Official Gazette, will come into force. There are several new features, among which are fixed odds betting, a change in liability of odds and early cash out.

In addition, there will also be new taxes. Although they change the amount operators have to give up to the country, the trickle-down effect means consumers may pay, as well.

Squeezing the Gambling Industry

Italy’s new tax regime comes into play only weeks after Spain made changes to its tax code. It’s a common theme among governments, although sometimes with unexpected outcomes. When the Philippines tried to add new taxes to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, for example, it caused the segment to implode.

It isn’t likely that Italy’s changes will lead to such drastic outcomes, but they will still impact the market. Retail betting revenue will soon face a tax of 20%, up from 18%. Online revenue previously had a tax rate of 22%, but this is increasing to 24%.

It wasn’t all bad news for operators, though. A 1% turnover tax some legislators sought didn’t make it into the final increases.

There was also some good news for bettors. The early cash out is probably the most interesting for those who bet on soccer matches. Cash out allows a bettor to collect on a bet before the end of the game. However, it also means having to settle for a lower amount.

Another important change of the new betting decree is the reduction of the amount of the minimum bet. Where it was previously €2 (US$1.99), the new starting point is €1 (US$0.99).

Lastly, wagering big money on games won’t lead to million-dollar paydays, but improvements are coming. Italy is capping the limit of wins on fixed-odds bets to €50,000 (US$49.740). Previously, the limit was €10,000 (US$9,999).

Italians Love To Gamble

Italians spent well over €100 billion (US$999 million) in 2021 alone, a turnover that predicts further growth in 2022. It has led the gaming sector to become one of the most important industries in the country.

Precisely for this reason, the government had to update the regulations concerning gambling. It also had to provide clearer rules and directives to online operators who wished to enter the Italian market without incurring monetary sanctions.

One of the most important restructurings combined with the legislative innovations was the reorganization of oversight. The body previously known as AAMS (Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies) became the Customs and Monopoly Agency (ADM, for its Italian acronym) as Italy’s gambling industry expanded. The ADM’s arrival was an effort to streamline bureaucratic procedures and facilitate the process of obtaining licenses, establish administrative controls and manage conflicts and taxation.

The ADM has the task of monitoring the gambling operators in our territory, both online and not, verifying their reliability before issuing them the state certification and the license to operate on the Italian market.

The ADM, with the support of the government, has introduced a number of changes since its inception. It launched a total ban on advertising targeting underage users, required payment of winnings within seven days to avoid high fines and set a return to player (RTP) of at least 90% on online slots. In addition, it requires operators to use only certified, verified and guaranteed software to ensure the validity of the results and the protection of user data.

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