Italy’s Gambling Tax Burdens Eased As Conte Releases Rescue Plan

As Italy enters its fourth week of national lockdown, the latest economic steps taken by the government have given light relief to Italian gambling incumbents.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has negotiated an initial € 25 billion bailout package, largely aimed at securing corporate payrolls, mortgage repayments and industrial rents.

Additional steps see the government temporarily suspend tax duties for a range of ‘at-risk’ companies, which included Italian lottery and betting businesses.

Italy’s Department of Treasury will allow gambling companies to delay duty payments on slots and VLTs until 29 May.

Moreover, land-based gambling sites will be required to pay their concession fees at year-end trading, with the government giving the incumbents flexibility on payments that can be made into five different instalments.

Despite a downturn in economic development, Italy’s ADM customs and monopolies department has extended betting shop and bingo concessions for an additional six-month duration, with licences ending on 31 December 2020 and 31 March 2021, respectively.

It is further anticipated that the ADM will declare an extension of concessions for slots and VLT tenders until 2021.

There is also a wait for the slot and VLT tender to be issued by the regulator in 2021, and for the launch of the gaming operators ‘Public Registry.

Further good news is that Italian bingo hall operators have received a refund of licence fees for their entire disrupted business cycle.

Recognised as businesses working within an at-risk market, Italian suppliers of lottery, betting machines and gaming machines will be permitted to temporarily postpone contributions to Italy’s PAYE system and contribution to their retail employees.

The bailout package is seen as a short-term initiative taken by the government, despite sanctioning € 25 billion in steps to protect companies. PM Conte urged the EU last week to ‘unleash its full firepower’ enabling Italy to access a € 900 billion credit fund supported by the EU under its ‘European Stability Mechanism.’