Italy: the COVID-19 sports tax on betting

Last May, a Law Decree was introduced by the Italian government for COVID-19 emergency measures to sustain economic and financial activities. The “Relaunch” by Parliament in July confirmed its entry into force in May.

Against all odds, this Law Decree introduced an additional tax to help sustain sports after the two-month closure for the health-emergency lockdown and the subsequent lack of sporting events to bet on for the licensed online bookmakers.

In order to finance this newly introduced sports fund, the provision targets sports betting by all licensed operators, in whatever form and modalities, including virtual betting. It collects an additional 0.5% tax, tacked on to the current sports betting tax, through 31 December 2021, capped at €40 million for 2020 and €50 million for 2021.

To put things into context, a similar proposal was raised two years ago by the appointed Italian Football Federation chairman, who claimed that sports betting should directly fund football, like it does in the French betting system.

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