German Bundestag to discuss igaming tax regime

Operators want a tax rate based on gross revenue rather than turnover.
Operators want a tax rate based on gross revenue rather than turnover.

The proposed 5.3 per cent turnover tax on online poker and slots has been criticised by the industry as punitive.

Germany.- A bill on the tax regime for Germany’s new licensed igaming market, which is due to go live from July 1, has been assigned to the Bundestag’s Finance, Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection and Sports Committees for discussion.

The legislation proposes a tax rate for the new licensed igaming market of 5.3 per cent on turnover for online slots and poker.

Operators and industry groups such as the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) have criticised the rate as punitive and possibly illegal, and have argued that it will cause players to stick to the unlicensed gaming market.

The bill was drafted by the Bundesrat, the body that represents Germany’s 16 states at the federal level, but must be approved by the Bundestag before it can be implemented on the launch of licensed igaming in July. A date has not yet been set for the hearings. 

Operators have called for Germany to consider a tax rate based on gross revenue rather than turnover, with a rate in line with those set in other European markets.

Impact on igaming revenue 

Operators hoping to work under Germany’s new licensed market have already been able to cater to customers under a transitional regime since November.

Many have already seen an impact on revenue as a result of amending operations to comply with new legislation, with Bet-at-home reporting a 5.5 per cent drop in revenue year-on-year.

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