Italian Politics Fear Bitcoin Casino Phenomenon
The latest concern expressed by the Italian government is geared towards the taxation of the online gambling sector. Lucrezia Ricchiuti, an Italian Democratic member believes that Bitcoin casinos power the country’s mafia. This means to say that bitcoin casinos help to provide easy ways to launder dirty money most effectively.
Online Gambling platforms, especially those that deal in bitcoins are the latest targets for taxing and licensing regulation. However, it is nearly impossible to tax any of the players because most identities are left anonymous by the systems in use. Fortune Jack, for instance, provides service options for anonymity.
The Italian government has indicated that efforts will be made to regulate this sector in other to collect taxes and promotion fees. This effort by the Italian government is aimed to increase tax revenues in the online gaming sector since 50% of Italian Casino markets were unlicensed as of 2012. According to Gaming Tech, the Italian government wants a piece of the action since these games are taking place in the homes of citizens of Italy.
Italian authorities also believe that Bitcoin casinos can make it easy for people to evade taxes. It is unclear whether Lucrezia Ricchiuti’s statement is based on any credible information because one’s identity under any cryptocurrency can be exposed given enough time and resources.
It is very easy to establish a casino website that accepts Bitcoin under the current legislation. As long as you have money and an EU address you can open a site. This is not to say that bitcoin casinos such as Dasist Casino or Bitstarz Bitcoin Casino are not legit. They are, but there are opportunities at places like these to get rich quick without paying taxes.
Most Italian Online Casino operators offered their games to Italians through non-Italian Gaming licences. In 2014 this was at the height of gaming but now the government has caught up to the hype. The head of remote games at AAMS stated that he had been able to convince eight major casino suppliers to prevent their operators from engaging in such practice.
Several countries do not subscribe to Bitcoin Gambling because there is a risk for a player using Bitcoin to gamble in an unlicensed website. A typical example of such countries is Macau, whose monetary authorities has issued a strong warning to people who engages in Bitcoin usage, that trading in the virtual currency could break the law, although it is not stated that Bitcoin usage is forbidden outrightly. On the contrary, the Curacao Gambling Authorities has taken very liberal approaches to gambling operations, that are flourishing currently.
The United Kingdom and the Isle of Man have both introduced new licensing procedures to make opening a casino online more difficult today. However, Malta has recently rejected offers to regulate the online Gambling and Casino sector.
Requirements are not Easy to Maintain a Bitcoin Casino
Because regulations are now increasing their fees, one would have to net 1.5M Euro profit within a two-year period to succeed at maintaining a licence. This will be nearly impossible for most bitcoin casino vendors. In addition to the European turn around fee, websites that apply for the licence will also need 350,000 Euros which cannot be afforded by most Casino websites. Lastly, it will be difficult to have access to a licence in Italy by the time bitcoin Gamble becomes fully legal in the country since the license is currently limited to only a handful of countries.
Before 2006, Italy was among the countries which had laws that restrict the free operation of Gambling. Even though their Law sorted to distinguish a game of chance from a game of skill, it still persisted that Gambling in public venue and private clubs were prohibited by Law. An amendment in 2006 by all European Union countries changed this permitting brick and mortar facilities to allow gambling. Following the amendments to the Law, Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato was established by the Italy government to act as a licensing agency for online casinos. However, the owner of the Casino was required to have a physical office facility within any EU member country.
Under the new law, the online Casino websites are required to have an agreed annual revenue and capital resources, additional to the office within the EU. In 2015, the Italy Budget Committee approved a new amendment to the stability law that will lead to a change in 22% tax on online sports betting revenue. Retail betting operators were told to pay 18% of the rate in 2015, which was higher than 20% of the tax that was to be imposed on online poker, casino and bingo revenue.
As this amendment will ensure efficient collection of taxes and dues and subsequently help the Italian Economy, new bitcoin Casino websites will suffer the cost and stress of simply getting a licence.