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   Saturday, April 13 2024 
The CJEU ruled in favor of Italian poker players - Italy

Italy has made an ambitious step forwards to modify its tax legislation on gambling. With the advent of a verdict issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union, Italy’s taxation authorities lost the case as the CJEU ruled in favor of Italian live poker players. Indeed, the CJEU handed down a judgment exempting Italian players from taxation on gains cashed in poker tournaments held overseas, or in any other country within the European Union. This judgment issued on Wednesday, October 22 solves a dispute between Italy’s tax board and two professional poker players, Pier Paolo Fabretti and Cristiano Blanco. As a reminder, Cristiano Blanco and Pier Paolo Fabretti have respectively $ 835,010 and $ 372,180of poker earnings they did not declare to the Italian tax authorities.

Both players underlined that the “Agenzia” bases its allegations on earning figures published by “HendonMob” regardless of the fact that these sums have already been subject to "stacking" expenses, travel costs and losses. Besides, they claimed that the Agenza’s action goes against what is stipulated by the European Treaties, introducing double taxation on the same earnings that had already been taxed in other EU member State. Note that winnings amassed in casinos located in Italy are exempt from taxation. After considering the evidence claimed by both players, the CJEU rules against Italy’s tax legislation that makes overseas winnings taxable. National legislation alike creates a “discriminatory restriction” on the freedom to provide services as mentioned by Article 56 TFEU, the CJEU added.

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