France passes gambling bill

The Senate in France has approved an amendment to a gambling bill that would calculate the tax based on GGR instead of turnover.

France.- France is set to change is tax regime for gambling operations, as the Senate passed a budget bill for next year. The change would pave the way for France to calculate gambling tax based on gross gaming revenue (GGR).

Current regulations establish that gambling tax is calculated on turnover. If the bill’s amendments pass the National Assembly they would become law and be in full force for the 2020 budget.

The 2020 budget’s projections estimate that by 2020 France would perceive €586 million from sports betting taxes, €787 million from taxes on casinos, €420 million from horse race betting and €66 million from poker. However, Française des Jeux (FDJ) would be the biggest contributor as it would make €2.48 billion from taxes.

If those changes are approved, sports betting’s rate would increase to 33.8% and an additional 10.7% would be applied to the online segment. Horse race betting tax would be 19.9%, while online poker’s would rise to 36.7%. If combined, operators would have to pay 55.2% for online sports betting, 44.5% for retail sports betting, 40.8% for online poker and 37.7% for horse racing.

The Senate explained that the local gambling regulator ARJEL said that the tax on stakes is too burdensome and thus it prevents a balanced development of the market.

Gambling revenue rises in Q3

Gambling in France has experienced an impressive third quarter, as total revenue rose 27.7% year-on-year to €346 million. These results come despite being compared to a period in 2018 where France won the men’s World Cup.

Sports betting was the most important vertical in the third quarter, as handle increased 9% to €1.08 billion in the three-month period. This figure is particularly impressive as the third quarter of 2018 featured the men’s World Cup, won by France.

Revenue from sports betting totalled €214 million, a 43.6% increase from the previous year. Half of the betting handle came from football, which brought in €553 million, although the figure is a 12% year-on-year setback.

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