Attack on table football between Bagni and the bars of Viareggio and Florence: «Gambling? But what a mess … “

June 22, 2022 – 06:57

Among the leaders of establishments and leisure clubs after the entry into force of the decree, which endangers lime and table tennis

from Gabriele Noli, Lorenzo Sarra



“With all the problems we have to think about, all we needed was the fine for table football …”. The owners of Bagni della Passeggiata di Viareggio, already worn out by the prospect of seeing bath concessions end at auction from 2024 (unless an extension is granted), react with a mixture of discouragement and disbelief in the decree of excise duty, customs and of Monopoly, which came into force on 1 June, which effectively equates table football, table tennis and pinball machines installed in public places with games of chance, slot machines and video poker.

It will therefore be necessary to pay the tax on entertainment (8% of the average fixed taxable amount, for each unit) and be provided with an identification certificate and a “work permit” in order not to incur fines of up to EUR 4 thousand. “When I read it, I fell out of the clouds: it did not seem true,” comments Luca Lippi, owner of Bagno Sole and president of the seaside resorts of Viareggio, with a sarcastic smile, very seriously announcing that “as an association will we give our legal mandate to investigate. ”


But in these parts (unlike Livorno and the Pisan coast) no one has received any checks. At least for now. “Maybe I’ll remove the table football,” Lippi wonders. The others, on the other hand, even if they are taken by surprise, will leave it in its place. However, the decree states that the bureaucratic tasks are the responsibility of the operator. “For children, it’s a way to be together and have fun: comparing it to gambling seems like a nuisance to me,” says Paola Mannozzi from Bagno Annita. Words and tone of voice change from one establishment to another, but with the chorus of dissent it is unanimous. And there are those who resort to irony. “Burraco is more dangerous because you’re playing a froth or a coffee …” says one lady.

In Florence – when we inform the bartender about the “Il Tempio” kiosk on the Arno river – his expression is “Ma cché se ‘grullo?”. You must show the article by Corriere della Sera, to make him understand that he is not on Seriously. “We did not know anything about it – says Vincenzo Lenzone behind the counter – Sammontana brought us table football as a sponsor. It’s free, you do not even have to use it with a token. We only ask for the document for the ball ».

Table football still goes a long way here: “For the most part, mothers and fathers play with their young children. It seems to me absurd that there is a risk that someone will play on us, video poker style. There are also bets on roosters, but the chicken coops are not closing. ”

The situation is considered almost comical also in the Arci «Il Progresso» club in via Vittorio Emanuele II: «Is ping-pong a game of chance? – laughs the president Fabrizio Poli – but if it is a sport that is also practiced at the Olympics? «. In the club, to tell the truth, not even the shadow of rackets and table tennis. A professional lime from Uisp, which the club team used years ago, resists: “But now – explains Poli – today’s children no longer play there. So much so that we currently use it as a platform for the comics school we organize for children. Since June 1, Arci has been circulating a green light announcement for table football after Covid, but our problem is that the players are missing ». No “rollate” and “banks” at the Andreoni di Coverciano and Via Nuove di Gavinana clubs: “We are not keeping them anymore,” the managers say.

In Settignano, on the other hand, there are still, but you always fall from the clouds on the decree: “In any case – says bartender Sofia Halicioglou – here you pay neither for football nor table tennis. There is only a deposit of five euros for the rackets. There is no money for rent, let alone for betting ». One lady adds: “Here were the last episodes twenty years ago with the elderly in trump: 50 cents per. game. We have not even had pinball machines since the beginning of 2000. ‘ And on the subject also the European Parliament’s League Susanna Ceccardi intervenes. “It required – he attacks – the worst combination of bureaucracy, obsession with taxes and madness to get to play table tennis tables, table football tables and pinball machines”.

© REPRODUCTION RESERVED

June 22, 2022 | 06:57

© REPRODUCTION RESERVED

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