Without a fair and workable tax regime, the operators will stop applying for licenses and customers will begin to seek out unlicensed operators
Nikos Roumnakis, President of the European Organization of Gaming Law, at the European Legal Conference in Belgrade said that the Board of Directors of the EOGL accepted the Platform stating that the EOGL will support functioning of the European market without internal borders, where competition is free and undisturbed. Also, our primary objective will be to promote safe, secure and reliable environment for the games of chance. We insist on the strict underage policy – protection of the minors and adequate training of employees to timely recognize gambling addiction.
The Platform states that we shall strive for a fair taxation systems in the games of chance and fight against overtaxing and various restrictions including turnover tax, tax on winnings and any additional types of taxation such are VAT and local taxes.
Without a fair and workable tax regime, the operators will stop applying for licenses and customers will begin to seek out unlicensed operators who provide a better value and more choices for money.
Tax on winnings is yet another big problem for the legal operators because when the state authorities impose the tax on winnings, legal operators soon start to notice the gradual turnover decrease. Eventually, the total taxable revenues for the government decrease and the illegal operators begin to dominate the market. The legal operators are also discouraged to create new jobs.
The lawmakers should ask themselves the following question: what kind of gambling industry do we want to offer to the people of this country and the communities within?
If the legal operators withdraw from the market because of the tax on winnings, then the percentage of the market controlled by illegal operators will rise. This kind of taxation will drive the players to the illegal betting markets (both online and land based) and the tax administration will not be able to collect taxes from such operators.
The law makers should offer a sustainable business model and minimise the risk for the operators. Only then will they benefit from the entire industry in a regulated market. Fair taxation will help the government create a safe environment for the players and collect fair amounts of taxes thus increasing their own state budgets. Otherwise, the legal operators will start closing their companies and the illegal market will fill up the gap without paying any taxes.
The EOGL supports communication and cooperation between the local operators and the national authorities in order to create a healthy environment for the gaming industry because local problems usually become global problems.