Luigi Magistro, Deputy Director of the Italian Customs Authority, dismissed discussions of a rise in online gambling taxes.
At a public hearing organized by the European Social and Economic Committee, the Italian regulator expressed his intention to maintain status quo tax rates and stated that a reasonable tax level would be necessary to combat black market activity. He stressed the fact that a raise in taxes would hurt the ability of licensed operators to effectively compete with any illegal establishment that might offer a better product.
Magistro also added that the consequences of a potential black market would outweigh the benefits of a raise in online gambling taxes. Currently, the online gambling sector raises about 2.2% of the tax revenue from the entire gaming sector. A rise in online gambling taxes would have a small effect on the overall revenue stream from that entire gaming sector.
The Italian Regulator’s speech came about after statistics showed a decline in Italian gross gaming revenue for 2012. Despite this decline, Magistro believed that the online gaming sector could see an upward trend with a recovering economy and potential cooperation with other countries.