Italy to close betting shops with unpaid taxes

The Italian customs agency ADM has suggested it will allow no reprieve for bookmakers struggling under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and has begun talks with police to close down betting shops that have outstanding taxes.

Marcello Minenna, the new Director-General of Italy’s ADM, has begun discussions with Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (GDF), the financial police unit, to outline a process to be followed for making closures in coming months.

Minenna has said he will continue the agency’s strict attitude to unpaid taxes as it aims to collect a reported €120million that remains due since 2018.

He needs GDF’s agreement to sanction the proposed closures, but asserts that the new gambling amendments in Italy’s 2020 Budget Law passed last December gives ADM the right to enforce business closures in its role as the regulatory agency for gambling in Italy.

Italy’s Supreme Court, the Corte di Cassazione, is expected to pass judgement on 200 outstanding gambling tax convictions by the end of the summer.

The ADM has warned bookmakers against appealing its measures, observing that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has approved the Budget Law amendments, finding that they do not infringe on business conditions under the European Treaty.

Bookmakers in Italy have already been suffering due to the impact of Covid-19 and a new tax on sports betting.


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