Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Italian Police charges betting firm SKS365 with €124 million Glassia payback

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SKS365 Group, the operating company of Italian bookmaker PlanetWin365, has been charged by the Italian Financial Police of corporate tax evasion totalling €124 million.

The tax evasion charge forms part of Italian Police’s wider ‘Glassia’anti-Mafia investigation, undertaken during the course of 2018, which saw 60 people arrested and €1 billion seized in illegal funds.

Conducting a probe of gambling activities in the regions of  Catania, Reggio Calabria and Bari, Italian police uncovered a ‘sophisticated money-laundering network’ utilised by three Mafia families.

The probe, which has been branded as Italy’s biggest AML investigation, found that the Mafia networks had knowingly used the services of Malta-licensed betting firms’ Planetwin365, Revolutionbet, Bet1128, Betaland and Enjoybet as money laundering vehicles.

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Operating Planetwin365, the biggest bookmaker implicated in the Glassia scandal, SKS365 has been charged by the Financial Police of failing to declare approximately €4 billion in taxable income during the period 2015-2016.

Related: Dutch Gambling Regulator Hits Bwin With €350,000 Fine

In its summon, the Police states that SKS365 has benefited from illegal gambling activities and must payback €6 million in regional taxes, €71 million in income taxes, combined with a further €47 million in corporation taxes.

SKS365 Group maintains that it had cooperated fully with the Glassia probe, which investigated the bookmaker’s activities during a period that it traded as SKS365 Malta, managed by an entirely separate executive team.

It underlined that the Glassia-related tax violations occurred under its previous owners, as the company was sold to Dutch private equity fund Ramphastos Investments in late 2016 for €150 million.

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Furthermore, the betting group maintains that the taxable income was generated by a Malta franchise established to operate during a transitional period for Italian gambling, in which the government granted European-licensed operators amnesty as Italy established its licensing framework during 2015.

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