Czech Finance Ministry Calls for Gambling Tax Increase

The Czech Ministry of Finance has notified the national media of its intention to introduce changes to the gambling taxation.

The notice was issued by Czech Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura, whose Civic Democratic Party (ODS) government is currently drafting new measures for the state budget that highlight savings of 70 billion crowns (3 billion Euro).

Savings target is needed as the Ministry of Finance aims to keep the Czech budget deficit at 295 billion crowns (12.6 bn Euro) and prevent the debt-to-GDP ratio from reaching +46%, the highest in Central Europe.

In 2020, after three years of debate, the Czech ANO (civil) administration approved the decision of the Ministry of Finance to introduce a new graduated tax of 23-35% on all licensed products (lotteries, sports betting, sweepstakes, bingo, live games, slot machines). and lotteries) permitted by Czech gambling law.

Prior to this decision, overseas operators such as William Hill and GVC Holdings (formerly Entain Plc) withdrew from the market as market tax conditions were unacceptable.

As a result, the Czech gambling business came under the control of local companies Fortuna Entertinament and TipSport, which retained most of the sports betting and gambling market and, together with SAZKA, operated the Czech National Lottery.

Mr. Stanjura said the Treasury would listen to any savings proposals if the budget prioritizes spending cuts over income taxes.

The ministry wants to increase the gambling tax while avoiding new taxes on consumer goods, such as the excise tax on wine that has been adopted in other EU member states.

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