Government Cashes in on Gambling
Gambling companies in Slovakia are not having their best week after parliament passed a revision to the Gambling Act, which received the thumbs up today also from President Ivan Gasparovic.
Apart from making it illegal to sell or serve alcohol and cigarettes in places containing gambling machines or games, the new law will also increase the level of taxes imposed on gambling operators.
Just now lottery companies get hit for 17% of the stakes, but this will increase to 18% in September. Casino operators currently pay 24% of their receipts to the state budget (plus 3% more to local government), but this will be hiked up to 26% thanks to the new law. The flat rate tax of EUR 400 p.a. that is slapped on slot machines will soar to a massive EUR 1,900 from the beginning of next year.
The new law will therefore cut into the profits of operators, not just by way of the taxes, but also as many gamblers might start looking for more ‘hidden’ venues where they can enjoy a drink or a smoke along with their other vice. The government, on the other hand, is hoping to increase its winnings by a jackpot of EUR 16 million a year as of next year.