Latvian Lawmakers Favor Gambling Tax Hike, Increased Taxes To Come Into Effect Next Year

Latvian Lawmakers Favor Gambling Tax Hike, Increased Taxes To Come Into Effect Next Year

The Latvian government is planning to increase the gambling taxes and it seems the government has the necessary support to bring in the changes to the existing gambling tax structure.

The country’s Cabinet of Ministers has supported the Finance Ministry’s proposed Law amendments on Lotteries and Gambling Fee and Tax. The amendments call for increasing the gambling tax which would come into effect from the coming fiscal.

According to the current gambling tax structure, gambling machines are taxed at EUR 4164. With the amended tax structure, the tax on gambling machines would be EUR 6000. Moreover, the taxes for roulette, cards and dice games will also be increased from EUR 23400 to EUR 28080.

The new proposed tax structure will also impact the tax revenue sharing between the state and municipal budgets. With the new rules in places, 90 percent will go towards the state Budget while 10 percent will remain with the municipalities. At present, the state’s share is 75 percent and 25 percent for the municipal budgets.

The government is also aiming at decreasing the number of slot machines by 5 percent from 8680 to 8247 per year with the new increased tax structure.

The gambling market in Latvia has been expanding. According to the figures published by the national regulator the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection (IAUI), the gambling revenue for the first six months of 2019 has jumped 4.7% year-on-year to €154.5m (£142.0m/$172.1m).

During the same period the previous year, the Latvian regulated gambling market generated €134.6m only. Moreover, the first half of 2019 also saw a jump in the profits from €99.9m to €111.5m, representing a 15 percent year-on-year increase.

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