Italy Sports Betting Tax Increased, Swedish Regulation Row

27 May 2020

The Italian government has sanctioned a transitory tax on sports betting revenue, as the nation tries to regain from the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the country to its core, leaving huge dents to the country’s economy. The decree comes as a part of the government’s Post-COVID-19 recovery plan – a €55 billion pledge to help rejuvenate all the businesses in Italy.

The tax will be imposed on all sport’s betting activities in Italy, including retail, virtual and online sports, and it will hold ground till 31st December 2022. The Italian government first proposed a 0.75% tax on all sports betting revenue and was met by an outcry from the industry, including the country’s trade commissions which also rooted for a tax drop.

However, the 0.5% value is part of the ‘save sports fund’ intended for raising the needed money for the sports leagues troubled after the government’s imposed ‘further-notice’ suspensions when coronavirus first hit in mid-March.

A fundamental aspect of any tax based on the turnover is that it levies the tax betting appendage instead of the revenue. So, if a sports betting company were to lose money on a match, it would then still have to pay tax on the bets staked during that event. This is one of the reasons why there’s been an outcry after the new taxation has been imposed.

In the meantime, in Sweden, Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister for Social Securit,y has proposed a range of changes to a set of gambling measures enforced by the government during the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the new restrictions include online casino time limits, SEK 100 limit on bonus offers, and weekly deposit limits set at SEK 5,000. While the government insists that the measures are for consumer protection, BOS, the Swedish trade body for casino operators, however, voiced its concern, indicating that the measures are instead meant to benefit companies that have close ties to the company, such as ATG, a horse betting company, given that the new regulations don’t apply to sports betting.

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