At a recent internet gambling meeting organised in Belgium by the European Social and Economic Committee, the new chief executive officer of the Italian gambling regulator made the announcement that no new taxes will be placed on online gambling in Italy. Luigi Magistro of the Amministrazione Autonoma Monopoli di Stato (AAMS) also claimed that taxes in the country need to remain reasonable so that the online gaming groups who hold legal Italian online gambling licences are in a position to compete with the non-tax paying, unlicensed operators who provide online gambling to Italian players from off shore web sites.
It seems that the Italian authorities have learned from the experiences of other European countries which taxed online gambling at too high a level and so they will avoid the resultant negative effects on online gambling by keeping the taxes at a competitive level.As in most countries where the online gambling industry is growing and developing, there is strong opposition from various groups on the grounds that online gambling could be the cause of some social problems. In response to this Luigi Magistro announced in Brussels that a committee would be formed and chaired by himself to look into the area of problem gambling in the country. The committee is to be made up of members and experts in the area to be appointed by the government. The group will study the question of problem gambling in order to discover the extent of the problem, its effect on society and ways to prevent problem gambling from developing in the first place.While there has been a world wide decrease in revenue from gambling due to the slow down in economies, the Italian gambling industry has not been hit as hard as other countries. Last year the Italian government gained 8 billion euros in taxes on all gambling in the country. Online gambling provided 200 million euros of this sum and this could increase this year as the industry is still developing and should soon include virtual gaming and exchange betting along side the online slot machines which were introduced towards the end of 2012. Last year gross gambling income in Italy was 18 billion euros and online gambling made up just over 4 per cent of this revenue.