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Gambling associations ask for rethink on Spanish tax proposals

With the recent French and Danish tax furores probably still resonating with their members, three prominent gambling trade associations joined together this week to appeal for a common sense approach to taxation in the drafting of online gambling regulatory legislation in Spain.

EGBA, AEDAPI and RGA claim that the Spanish draft bill puts more than €100 million in advertising and sponsorship for Spanish sports at risk.

"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," a statement from the bodies informs.

"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."

Agustín Torres, Secretary of AEDAPI (Spanish Association of Online Gamblers), opined 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%, 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 €100 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", indicated Torres.

An uncompetitive licensed sports betting market is likely to result in many consumers looking online for products offered by unregulated operators. Recently, taxation has been under scrutiny in France, where a new licensing regime launched prior to the World Cup applies a high turnover tax to sports betting.

Adding their weight to the AEDAPI view, the influential European Gambing and Betting Association and the Remote Gaming Association, said that the online gambling industry would welcome the opportunity to share its expertise during a public consultation.

Source: InfoPowa News

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