SBC News Czech Republic revamps tax system for gambling operators

Czech Republic revamps tax system for gambling operators

The Czech Republic’s finance minister Alena Schillerová has confirmed that the country will be hiking taxes on gambling operators, set to come into effect from January 2020.

Announced on Twitter, Schillerová confirmed: “The government has just approved a long-awaited Tariff package for tobacco, hard alcohol, and gambling taxation by the Ministry of Health and the National Drug Coordinator. It responds to the increase in their availability as a result of rising living standards in the Czech Republic.”

As it stands, gambling operators are currently taxed at 23 per cent on gross gaming revenue (GGR), with gaming machines taxed at a higher rate of 35 per cent of GGR.

However, the new proposed tax structure will see taxes split into three levels, with new tax rates based upon the potential risk factor of each activity.

Schillerová offered an explanation to the decision behind the restructuring of the tax system by stating: “Our country has made considerable progress in combating addiction in recent years. We all remember the weed-filled housing estate or the smoky restaurants and public areas.

“Even in 2012, there were an incredible 75,000 vending machines in our country, and 7,500 gaming rooms, and cigarette smoke accompanied us at every turn. Measures that have significantly eliminated these negative phenomena are returning us to the civilized world, but expert figures show that we must remain active.

“The increase in excise duties not only reduces the availability of addictive substances, but also raises funds to support prevention projects.”

As a result of a long running campaign spearheaded by the Czech Ministry of Health and National Drug Policy Coordinator, the additional funds generated due to higher taxes will be used to support problem gambling initiatives across the country.