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Italy – Italian government rings in the New Year with tax increases

By - 2 January 2019

The New Year saw a raft of new taxes come into play for the Italian gambling sector which the government hopes will generate an extra €770m in taxation in 2019.

Having already seen a near complete ban on gambling advertising, tax on VLTs will now be set at 6.75 per cent of revenue marking a 1.25 per cent increase whilst tax on AWPs has increased by 1.35 per cent to 18.85 per cent of revenue.

Operators will be allowed to lower machine ‘win rates’ from 70 to 68 per cent on AWPs and from 85 to 84 per cent on VLTs.

Online casino operators now face a higher tax of five per cent taking their total tax to 25 per cent of GGR. Sports betting will face an increase from 22 to 24 per cent. Online sportsbooks will see an increase from 22 to 24 per cent on retail betting. Virtual sports will face an increase from 20 to 22 per cent.

The increases have been put forward by Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio who was proud that the Lega-5Star coalition government had made Italy’s gambling sector ‘the most taxed in Europe.’

He said the intention of the new tax rates was to ‘take money from those who in recent years had taken too much money from Italians.’

Moreno Marasco, President of Italian gaming association Logico, said he had the ‘utmost concern’ over the changes saying local operators would be forced out. He accused the government of trying to ‘reduce the number of operators’ in Italy’s regulated market. Playtech has already said that its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation could be hit by as much as to €25m as a result of the increase.

Caption: Italian Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio

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