Estonia proposes gambling tax hikes

Coates and her family paid £573m in tax in 2020.
Coates and her family paid £573m in tax in 2020.

A draft law recommends increasing taxes on online gambling, casino games and lottery. 

Estonia.- A draft law submitted by the Ministry of Finance has proposed that Estonia’s new government raise the tax rates on online gambling, casino games and lottery. It notes the rapid growth in online casino revenue.

The new bill proposes a phased tax hike that would raise the rate for online gambling from the current 5 per cent to 6 per cent in 2024 and 7 per cent in 2026. Table game taxes would rise by 10 per cent and the lottery tax rate from 18 per cent to 22 per cent. The ministry aims for the bill to enter force on January 1, 2024 and seeks to generate an extra €8m in 2024 and 2025, €12m in 2026 and €13m in 2027.

There are 29 online gambling operators licensed in Estonia, 14 of which are Estonian. According to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, online casino revenue rose by 260 per cent in the last two years, from €78m in 2020 to €281m in 2022. The draft law notes that a significant portion of their revenue comes from bets placed from other countries, including Finland and Germany.

The government also plans to increase tax on alcohol and tobacco to help it provide tax exemptions on pensions and to set the level of tax-free income at €700 per month.

Prime minister Kaja Kallas, who leads a new centrist coalition of the Reform Party, the Social Democrats and Eesti 200, plans to revise Estonia’s gambling laws this year, with a ban on gambling adverts expected to be a likely outcome.

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