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Czech government warned on high online gambling taxes

Several gambling firms warned the Czech Republic government this week that they may move to more tax friendly climates if the government continues to increase taxes on betting firms.

The warning comes after the latest tax for Czech based betting companies which now pay a 20% tax on gross wins as well as a corporate income tax rate of 19%. The rate comes in at almost twice that of Poland, and nearly four times that of Slovakia at 5.5%.

Fortuna Entertainment Group CFO Michal Veprek said that his firm paid more than €4 million in taxes for the first half of the year. The firm's net profit fell by nearly 35% due to the large tax.

Fortuna's Chairman Wilf Walsh went further, suggesting that his firm is ready to switch its operations to Malta if things do not improve. “If the situation doesn’t improve by the next Annual General Meeting of shareholders, we propose (to move) operations to Malta,“ he said.

“In case taxation worsens, we have a safe haven where to move,” he said, referring to the company's shell corporation in Hungary.

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