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Italy- Council slammed for increasing San Remo tax

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With revenues and taxation falling in the Italian casino sector, the Municipal Council of San Remo has moved to increase the amount of tax it takes from the casino’s revenues from a staggering 66 per cent to 81 per cent, forcing the casino into a ‘do a or die’ situation.

The increase has been widely slammed by executives at the casino who say overtaxing the casino will see even less money brought to the spa town in the form of taxation. Instead, they say, the casino needs investment.

Gianni Berrino, administrator for the commune of San Remo, said the increase was absolutely necessary.  “With an expected annual revenue of E55,232,000 in 2012, excluding online gaming, the economic equilibrium of our society will only be maintained by increasing the percentage of proceeds brought by the casino spa to between 81 and  90 per cent. The business plan of the casino will then need to be readjusted to force it to perform properly.”

Massimo Donzella, an advisor for the casino, questioned how the casino was supposed to survive. “This decision will force a shortcoming in the accounts that the casino will present in court,” he said. “Instead we should be looking at the responsibility of the commune and the lack of investment that there has been in the casino in recent years.”

In May 2012 the Casino of Venice generated revenues of E10.5 m, up from E7m. Saint Vincent brought in E5.9m whilst the casino in San Remo brought in Gross Gaming Revenues of E3.6m.

“As of June 6 we’re at least 22 or 23 per cent down compared to last year,” Mr. Donzella explained. “Years ago the casinos in Venice and Campione were at the bottom of the league table when it came to profitability, while the casino in Saint Vincent was in top place. However executives in Venice and Campione have had a managerial master class, making important decisions in terms of investments. Venice has created a fantastic new American style casino near the airport whilst Campione built a completely new casino. The casinos in Saint Vincent and San Remo have gone backwards. In our casino, we have paid up to E50m to the municipality in taxes which in turn has paid for nothing to be done.”

Mr. Donzella said that the decision taken to raise the tax would force the casino to take just shelter from the economic storm rather than address the downturn in trade and do anything to change it. He said the municipality needed a mayor who made forward-thinking decisions to help the unions and employees at the casino, with the goal of generating more income and more taxation in three to five years’ time.

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