twelve o’clock, January 27, 2021 – 18:14
The entire sector, due to closures and anti-Covid restrictions, lost 25% of turnover in 2020. Donato Snidar, owner of arcades in Bari: we fear the stop forever
of Paola Cacace
BARI – Between the stop of the championships and the wait for a Tokyo 2020 that first became 2021 and which is now expected with fingers crossed, there is a market that sees declining numbers also due to the Coronavirus. That of sports betting which, only last March (ie the first lockdown), recorded an overall reduction of 93% with an expenditure of about 70 million euros compared to over 106 million in 2019. A decline that shakes the entire sports market . Sport and lockdown, in fact, was a combination never seen before.
The numbers of the crisis
Focusing on betting (English term for betting), it is not surprising that the gaming and betting sector has lost 25% of the proceeds compared to 2019. Even the tax authorities are missing out as the State will be missing approximately 4 or 5 billion euros but above all they are the workers in the sector who in recent days have been the protagonists of a sit-in in front of Montecitorio. “A sit-in that saw women as protagonists and it does not surprise me – says Donato Snidar who in Puglia, between the province of Bari and the Bat has 6 slot halls – since also half of the employees are women, often alone and with children, who have a salary as their only income. But all of our 20 employees are in trouble and so are us managers, burdened by constant uncertainty and a series of closures. Closures due to the restrictions dictated by the Dpcm but which I fear may become permanent if the situation does not change quickly ».
Distances and ad hoc sanitization
And in fact to date the legal gaming sector, which employs over 120,000 direct workers in Italy, is undergoing many difficulties. Consider that between Puglia, Basilicata and Molise there are already 1550 businesses, including amusement arcades, betting agencies, bingo halls and gaming corners in shops such as tobacconists and the like, definitively closed to date. “This despite the fact that all the necessary adjustments have been made to ensure ad hoc distances and sanitizations”.
The measures during the second lockdown
Snidar, on the other hand, is not the only one. The whole sector has adapted. Suffice it to say that during the second lockdown to further guarantee workers and customers, a second version of the regulatory protocol was developed by Sisal, Lottomatica, Snaitech, Gamenet and Novomatic, containing even more restrictive provisions in their stores than those envisaged. By law. All while the closures went on indefinitely.
In detail, from 8 March to 15 June and then from 26 November for amusement arcades, betting agencies and bingo halls and from 3 November for gaming corners within other establishments to date. Prolonged closure which has its consequences such as the decline in tax revenues. Suffice it to say that if in 2019 the State had grossed over 11 billion euros from the gaming sector, the expected revenue for 2020 is just over 7 billion. “What everyone seems to forget is that betting parlors, slot parlors and all of us are partners with the state. But those who complained asking for clarity were told that the refreshments have already arrived. Too bad they were barely pennies when you consider the expenses, even just the fixed costs. Like the Preu. The Preu is the only tax levy that has grown this year, despite the many months of closure, as regards the slot rooms specifically by 0.30% despite the closures that promise to continue further “. For Snidar it is therefore “an unacceptable situation that unfortunately also makes way for illegality that takes advantage of the closure of those who honestly do their job like us to gain space”.
January 27, 2021 | 18:14
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