The Lazio Administrative Court confirms the legitimacy of the 0.5% tax and rejects the operators' appeal
The second section of the Administrative Court of Lazio, with an order in the council chamber held remotely last December 2, regarding the appeals of some betting operators who contested the new 0.5% tax on bets called the "Sport saving fund" established by art. 217 decree law n. 34 of 19 May 2020, rejected the precautionary petition to suspend it on the assumption of non-existence of the fumus boni iuris and of the periculum in mora. The Administrative Court of Lazio, in fact, stated that "the aforementioned withdrawal", expected to be 0.5% of the total collected from bets relating to sporting events of all kinds, including in virtual format, carried out in any way and on any means, whether online or through traditional channels and concerning the collection of bets in any way and on any means carried out, "does not appear as a direct tax parameterised on the concessionaire's revenues, but as a form of indirect taxation that the manifestation of wealth consisting in participation in the betting game is striking, as the rate of 0.5% is applied to the total collection net of the single tax referred to in Legislative Decree 23 December 1998, n. 504; that the betting exchange represents one of the methods allowed by the concession for the remote collection of games and bets and that, therefore, subtracting only the collection of bets "with direct interaction between players" from the withdrawal introduced would constitute an unjustified difference in treatment with respect to ratio of the withdrawal as well as to its purpose ". Furthermore, the administrative judges pointed out that," although due to the peculiarities of the betting method carried out through the betting exchange, it might seem that the only subjects to be directly affected by the withdrawal are the users of this type of bet, in reality the withdrawal is likely to affect the users of the other types of bets, albeit indirectly, as the concessionaires, having to manage the service according to criteria of economy, will be able to reshape their remuneration by transferring all or part of the burden of the new contribution on the players the winners ". The discussion on the merits was set for the public hearing on April 14, 2021. Probably, only then we'll be able to have a more clearly picture of this matter.