SBC News BOS: Swedish gambling tax rise is a gift to the black market

BOS: Swedish gambling tax rise is a gift to the black market

Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), Sweden’s Online Gambling Trade Association has warned MPs of the negative consequences of backing a tax increase on Swedish gambling.

Announced last month in the Budget Memorandum of Finansdepartementet, in Q1 the Riksdag will debate increase Swedish gambling income taxes from 18% to 22%, to be applied from 1 July 2024

BOS emphasised the impact that it could have on the black market in the country – with ‘fewer players currently looking to play on the safe licensed market’ according to the body.

The BOS General Secretary, Gustaf Hoffstedt stated: “The government can hardly time its proposal to raise the gambling tax to a worse time. We are in a situation where fewer and fewer players choose to play on the safe licensed market, and more and more on the unregulated, unlicensed gambling market.

“That the government proposes to raise the tax for licensed gambling is the best Christmas present you can think of – to the unregulated and unlicensed gambling market.”

Previously, Spelinspektionen, the Swedish gambling authority, revealed that it has ‘no substantive views’ on the proposed gambling tax increase in Sweden.

However, the authority noted it will ‘carefully follow developments’ and monitor what ‘consequences the proposed change may actually have’ as it agrees with the Swedish government that such an increase could affect the channeling rate.

In response to the proposed changes, Spelinspektionen said in a statement: “The Swedish Gaming Authority has no substantive views on the proposals in the memorandum. However, the Swedish Gaming Authority believes that there are certain difficulties in getting an overview of what consequences the proposed change may actually have.

“Similar to what appears in the memorandum, the Gambling Inspectorate sees that an increase in the tax on gambling may affect, among other things, the channeling rate.”

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