The ruling coalition of the Czech Republic has agreed to alter planned tax increases on the betting industry, report Reuters.
An agreement was reached on Monday between leaders of the Social Democrats, ANO Movement and Christian Democrats to raise the tax on operators in the Czech market to 23%, as opposed to the previous finance ministry proposal of 25% – from the current rate of 20%.
Social Democrat MEP Roman Sklenák told Reuters: “We agreed in the coalition council that this amendment should be filed.”
A report in the Czech daily Hospodarske Noviny said the changes could result in a saving of 80m Czech crowns for operator Sazka, while Fortuna Entertainment is in line to save around 30m crowns.
Czech finance minister Andrej Babiš had initially targeted an increase in gross gaming win tax to 30-40%, which prompted Martin Lycka, general counsel at Betfair, to state: “If next year the ministry chooses a new strategy, it is likely that the big players including Betfair could leave the Czech market and stop accepting bets.”
Slot machine operators in the country are now facing higher taxes than previously anticipated, with a planned increase to 25% raised to 28%
Operators will also be expected to pay a fee of 110 crowns a day per machine.
Last year gambling in the Czech Republic was brought in line with the nation’s drug policies.
In a policy document, the word drugs was replaced with “addictive substances and gambling”.
The document is valid until the end of 2018, with findings on the impact of the policy to be published by March 2019.