Following the announcement in September regarding alterations on the previously proposed tax raise on lottery, sports betting and slots by the Czech Republic coalition government, their lower house lawmakers gave the initial approval to increase taxes as much as 8% on gambling winnings on October 27.
Lottery and sports betting winnings will experience a gambling tax raise from 20% to 23%, which will be a sharp 28% in case of slot machines. The additional daily tax on slot machines will be 80 CZK instead of the previous 55 CZK from now on. The earlier plan of the Finance Ministry was to impose all betting companies with 25% tax, and the current one reduces that for lotteries and sports while raising that for slots. The current proposal is concurred upon by leaders of the Social Democrats, ANO movement and Christian Democrats.
To become a law, the bill is yet to pass two more lower house readings and accrue approval from the upper chamber of parliament and the president. If passed, which seems impending by the coalition’s large majority, the new law is going to take effect from 2016, augmenting the country’s annual tax revenue by CZK 2 billion(equivalent to 81.2 million dollars or 73.8 million euros) – considering the same number of people keep gambling in the coming years.
According to the Reuters news agency, in 2014, Czechs invested a total of CZK 138 billion or 5.63 million dollars on gambling, mechanical and video slot machines acquiring more than 50% share in that sum. Around 3.5% of Czech Republic’s overall GDP comes from this endeavor.
Some of the leading betting firms in the country include Fortuna Entertainment Group, Tipsport and Saxka. Czech news outlet Hospodarske Noviny estimates that the latest gambling tax decision is beneficial for these operators, taking into account that this will enable them to save around CZK 30 million, CZK 40 million and CZK 80 million respectively.