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Dutch MPs propose increased gambling tax

| By Marese O'Hagan
Two Dutch MPs have issued an amendment that would see the percentage of gambling tax for operators increase by one full percent to 30.5%.

If accepted, this would amend article 5, paragraph 1 of the Netherlands’ Gambling Tax Act.

Silvio Erkens, MP for the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy and Chris Stoffer, MP for the Reformed Political Party submitted the amendment yesterday (24 October).

The proposed increase in gambling tax centres on a rule that will see a 16.2% excise duty increase on alcohol. This will come into effect from 1 January 2024. The MPs estimate this will cost €74m (£64.5m/$78.2m) and “virtually halves this increase in excise duties”.

In the amendment, the MPs outline that the alcohol excise increase would affect small businesses and their employees. They also allege that the amount of money set to be gathered “will probably be disappointing in practice”.

Increasing the excise duty on tobacco was also suggested alongside gambling. The MPs estimate the rise in gambling tax would cover €26m of the total alcohol tax increase cost. Tobacco will make up the remaining €48m.

Proposed increase in gambling tax

In regards to the gambling tax increase, the amendment states that the popularity of online gambling “has led to a significant increase in the turnover of online gambling companies”.

Stoffer and Erkens said they wished to apply the increase to online gambling only. However, they could not as gambling tax does not currently differ depending on the gaming types. The Netherlands’ online gambling market launched in October 2021, after the much-delayed Remote Gambling Act (KOA) was passed and enacted.

They urged the Dutch government to apply the amendment by 2025.

“Once that is the case, the additional revenue from the increase in gambling tax as a result of this amendment can be found by taxing online gambling companies more heavily, to the extent that the increase can be reversed for all other taxpayers,” the amendment reads.

Earlier this month, an online gambling report from regulator Kanspelautoriteit (KSA) reported a slowdown in market growth in the Netherlands. KSA chairman René Jansen – who will step down after his current term expires – said this means the “market is developing as expected”.

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