Italian sports betting decree to enter force this month

The Italian decree includes a tax hike but also some relaxations on rules.
The Italian decree includes a tax hike but also some relaxations on rules.

A tax rise on Italian sports betting will come into effect on October 28.

Italy.- A new legislative decree on sports betting has been published in the Italian government’s official gazette. The Ministry of Economy and Finance’s (MEF) legislation will come into effect on October 28, introducing a tax rise of two percentage points on betting revenue.

The tax on retail betting revenue will rise from 18 per cent to 20 per cent, while the tax on online sports betting revenue will increase from 20 per cent to 24 per cent. A mooted plan to add an additional 1 per cent tax on turnover has been dropped.

Other changes in the legislative decree on sports betting include a rule that bookmakers must offer a minimum bet of €1 on all markets offered. The limit on winnings for fixed-odds bets will be raised from €10,000 to €50,000.

Meanwhile, bookmakers will be able to offer cash out across all markets, not only on horseracing. The Italian gaming media outlet AgiPronews reports that workarounds for cash-outs have been used in the form of “bet insurance”.

Bookmakers will also be allowed to correct errors in odds, no longer having to accept wagers and thus risk potentially expensive payouts on incorrect odds. Operators have welcomed most of the changes, noting that they will align Italy with international markets.

Last month, the Italian media and communications watchdog AGCOM issued a warning to both foreign and domestic media and affiliate companies over gambling ad rules in Italy’s Dignity Decree. AGCOM noted it was fully authorised to penalise foreign media owners following European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings in favour of state agencies’ authority on gambling adverts.

The agency issued the warning after imposing a record €750,000 fine on Google due to gambling content shown on YouTube video channels. AGCOM found that YouTube had breached Article-9 of the 2018 Dignity Decree, which prohibits all gambling advertising, both direct and indirect, from being shown to Italian audiences. 

Meanwhile, an Italian MEP has sought clarification of the EU’s position on esports events after Italy’s customs and monopolies agency, ADM, which regulates gambling in the country, closed down three esports venues in April.

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