Stanleybet pays taxes in bid to end block on entering Italian betting tenders

Italy’s regulated online market set a new record for GGR.
Italy’s regulated online market set a new record for GGR.

Stanleybet Group aims to end a 25-year dispute with Italy’s ADM.

Italy.- Stanleybet Group has said that it has paid Italian betting taxes to the ADM for the first time in a bid to end its 25-year dispute with Italy’s Customs and Monopolies Agency. It said it had completed an F24 form through its Malta subsidiary in order to submit taxes for its Italian betting shop presence for January 1 to December 31 2022 by 31 January 2023 as legally required.

ADM general manager Marcello Minenna confirmed that the department’s top officials for gambling had been informed directly of the payment via a letter from Stanleybet. The UK operator entered the Italian betting market in 1998 and requested the Italian Ministry of Finance’s authorisation to acquire 100 betting shops from the former monopoly operator SNAI.

However, in 1999, the ADM refused to allow Stanleybet to participate in further concessions due to a disqualification clause that excluded foreign publicly listed companies from submitting tenders. Stanleybet has contested that decision as discriminatory. It argues that its Italian presence has been certified in four arbitrations by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Those rulings have been verified by Italy’s Court of Cassation and the Council of State.

However, it says that interference by the ADM continued to prevent its entry into tenders, launching multiple trials between 2014 and 2017 both “against top Stanley executives and against network owners”. It says this made its participation impossible owing to a “lack of subjective requisites”.

Stanleybet says it has sought a “path of dialogue” with the regulator and had “never filed a complaint against ADM, despite all the crime reports that have been filed and concluded in its favour”. It has now decided to “start paying the unique tax, exercising the right to pay taxes in Italy like any licensed operator”.

It said: “Stanleybet hopes that ADM will consider this initiative not as a challenge, but as an act of wisdom, in the best interests of the Italian State.”

Stanleybet Group to enter Spanish retail betting market

Stanleybet Group has announced that it has gained a retail betting licence and rights to enter Spain’s retail betting market in the southern region of Andalusia. It intends to open its first betting shop in Malaga in the first quarter of 2023.

Group CEO Giovanni Garrisi said the group had already identified Spain as its next destination before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be Stanleybet’s eighth European B2C market entry – it already has retail betting shops in the UK, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Italy and Romania.

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