Germany approves controversial turnover tax on slots and online poker

Germany’s controversial 5.3% turnover tax on slots and online poker received parliamentary approval earlier this week.

German Parliament approves 5.3% tax on slots and online poker

In March of this year, The new German state treaty on gambling (GlüNeuRStv) has been approved by lawmakers. Since then, the new regulation has received the approval of all German Länder. Coming into force on July 1, the new state treaty on games of chance legalize online casino games, but not everyone is excited.

While legalization is long overdue, the new treaty also comes with restrictions. Under the treaty, a $ 1.19 (€ 1) a bet limit per spin is introduced for online slots. Moreover, earlier this week the Bundestag voted in favor of a participation tax, which has already proved controversial. The participation tax, also known as the turnover tax introduces a 5.3% tax on all online poker and slots bets. In addition, the tax plans to affect both licensed games of chance and unlicensed operators.

When voting on the controversial tax, lawmakers Die Linke abstained from voting. On the other hand, representatives of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Alternative for Germany (AfD) voted against the participation tax. In the end, the tax received the approval of the Christian-social union (CSU), Social democratic party (SPD), Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Green Party. As a result, the controversial tax was approved.

Not everyone agrees with the newly approved tax

Although the new turnover tax has received approval from the German parliament, a recent online survey discovered that the proposed level of the shareholding tax may push many players to offshore operators. The study conducted by Goldmedia on behalf of Entain, Flutter Entertainment and Greentube in April interviewed 619 online slots players. Of this total, 49% admitted they would choose an alternative option via an unregulated website. In addition, 54% of players who took part in the survey answered that the payout percentage is the most important factor when choosing a gaming site.

In addition to the disturbing results of the survey, the European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA) also spotted a problem with the tax. The EGBA lodged a complaint with the EU in May, claiming that turnover tax is illegal. Additionally, the Association has suggested that the controversial tax may favor physical casinos over online gambling.

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