Spanish Tax Proposals Need Reconsidering, Claim Gambling Associations

EGBA, AEDAPI and RGA request a sensible tax regime

Following the recent uproar about the French and Danish tax issues, EGBA, AEDAPI, and RGA decided to place a joint appeal for a sensible taxation in the drafting of online gambling regulatory legislation in Spain, claiming that the Spanish draft bill puts more than Euro100 million in advertising and sponsorship for Spanish sports at risk.

In a joint statement, the bodies stress that "the Spanish regional and federal governments will meet this week to discuss the final form of a Draft Bill to regulate the online gambling market in Spain, due to be presented to Parliament early in the New Year."

"Consumers and online betting operators welcome Spain's initiative to regulate its online gaming market. The bill leaked to the press will give rise to a forward thinking and effective licensing regime for the sector.

"But the bill is likely to be counterproductive if the taxation on turnover (total takings) applied to sports betting is retained in its final form."

Secretary of AEDAPI (Spanish Association of Online Gamblers), Agustín Torres, commented in the statement: 'A betting tax on turnover (applied to every transaction) is not the right way to tax the industry, even if the rate were lower than the proposed 10 percent, as it does not allow operators to offer competitive products to consumers.

"A tax applied to gross gaming revenue, defined as turnover less winnings, to be enacted for all other forms of gambling in Spain, is the only sensible way to effectively tax sports betting. Such approach will bring consistency to the Spanish online gambling market, and enable the maximum number of operators to apply for licences.'

'AEDAPI estimates that more than Euro100 million in sponsorship and advertising revenue is currently invested each year by the major European sports betting operators in Spain, and this is at risk under this proposal', he explained.

There is a high possibility that an uncompetitive licensed sports betting market will take effect in many consumers looking online for products offered by unregulated operators. It's worth remembering that French taxation has been under scrutiny recently, and that a new licensing regime established there before the World Cup applies a high turnover tax to sports betting.

The other two major organizations, European Gambing and Betting Association and the Remote Gaming Association, joined the AEDAPI view, stating that the online gambling industry would welcome the opportunity to share its expertise during a public consultation.

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