Spain reduces gambling tax in latest budget

By Harrison Sayers

Spain has included several gambling tax reductions in its 2018 budget, including a 5% cut to online gambling operator’s taxes.

The budget will see gross gaming revenue tax for online operators cut from 25% to 20%.

Pari-mutuel sports betting is being reduced to 20% after a cut of 2%. However, both pari-mutuel horse racing and pari-mutuel pool betting will see their gross gaming revenues hit with a 5% increase, rising from 15% to 20%.

The new tax reductions will cover most online gambling offerings including sports betting, bingo, poker, betting exchanges, online casino games, and fixed odds betting.

The budget did not include any change to the 10% tax rate enjoyed by online operators located in Ceuta and Melilla, two of Spain’s autonomous cities located in North Africa.

Cristóbal Montoro, Spain’s former Minister of the Treasury and Public Administrations, announced the proposed gambling tax cuts in April. He suggested that they would attract more licensed operators and tackle unregulated gambling.

The Spanish gambling regulator, Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ), confirmed in December 2017 that it would open the license application for online gambling operators for only the third time in its history.

“The proper functioning of the regulated online gaming market is fundamental to ensure that gaming activity is sustainable and compatible with social welfare, making it possible to channel it into an adequate legal framework and with all the guarantees that regulation establishes for consumers,” said the DGOJ.

According to DGOJ, the online gambling market in Spain reached $190.35m for the first quarter of 2018 and $653.48m during the whole of 2017.

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