Latvian Gaming Business Association (LSBA) has condemned the Ministry of Finance’s plan to raise slot machine taxes by 44 percent in 2020. In its state budget for 2020, the ministry has called for an increase in the payment due for each slot machine from the current €4,164 per device per year to €6,000.
It is estimated that the new tax rate will generate an additional €13.34m for the exchequer in 2020.
LSBA president Arnis Vērzemnieks said the proposed tax increase negated the underlying issue of illegal gambling, arguing that “taxes on the gambling industry have been raised several times over the last few years. At the same time Latvians are not seeing enough activity from the state in combating illegal gambling providers.”
According to Vērzemnieks, the market share of unlicensed online gambling operators reached 34.1 million euros last year, which can be turned into a benefit to the state budget. Meanwhile, legal market players have to fight to ensure that service users do not choose an illegal segment, but this is not so simple.