Dutch operators rebel against new tax proposal

Dutch operators rebel against new tax proposal

Dutch operators rebel against new tax proposal
The Netherlands is looking to raise the gambling tax from the current 30.5% to 37.8%, as confirmed last week, with a coalition of parties backing the idea, and coming across party disagreements to unanimously decide on pushing forward with the change to the tax law. The measure envisions the injection of another €202m into the state’s coffers annually, but the proposal has naturally caused an uproar amongst gambling operators who have cautioned the government over high-handedness and lack of proper consultation in pushing forward with the plan. Tax is on the rise across Europe, with Italy previously announcing that it would be charging gambling operators more to maintain their licenses, prompting widespread criticism. Some jurisdictions, such as Spain, though could be making a U-turn on their most restrictive policies, such as gambling advertisement. This aside, the Online Gambling Industry Association (NOGA) has issued an official statement that has outlined possibly debilitating effects on the regulated gambling sector which is potentially facing a ban on games of chance, such as slots. According to Peter-Paul de Goeij, director at NOGA, the issue is much more significant than the parties driving this proposal realize. He has called for reason from lawmakers, arguing that the 7.3% increase in tax rates, negligible as it might same at first blush, could have a serious and harmful effect on the market, dealing a blow to the regulated gambling sector’s competitiveness, and empowering illegal operators and bad actors. De Goeij expects channelization to also suffer, and for growth to peter out, although even the Dutch Gambling Authority has already suggested that the market is unlikely to grow any quicker, as it has reached a near-maturity point and a time of consolidation has come. “The intention of the coalition parties will lead to an even further decline in the legal gambling supply. This is extremely risky, knowing that illegal parties do not pay taxes and are not bound to the duty of care as prescribed in Dutch legislation and regulations, and are already ostentatiously luring for the business of Dutch consumers,” De Goeij further noted. He further vituperated against the €200m that the government expects to raise, but while ignoring the fact that empowering the black market would have significant social ramifications. It’s socially irresponsible, observed the land-based industry association VANKansspelen who echoed NOGA’s criticism and warned about a future in which the regulated market struggles even more against bad actors. Image credit: Unsplash.com

21 MAY 2024

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