Estonia’s gambling tax revenue has fallen one third in the month of February.
Restrictions imposed due to coronavirus are having a significant impact on gambling tax receipts, to the extent they are paralysing activities of activities, including those related to social welfare, financed by the tax and under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Affairs, the ministry says.
“The fall in gambling tax receipts will undoubtedly put great pressure on the ministry to finance agreed projects,” Rait Kuuse, deputy secretary-general for social policy at the social affairs ministry, said.
“Our goal, in cooperation with our partners, is to find an opportunity to continue the agreed activities and, if necessary, to make new decisions together in certain places, if, for example, the implementation of what was agreed proves impossible due to the implemented restrictions. We have asked all partners to review the activities planned for this year and to reevaluate which activities it is reasonable to realize in view of the emergency situation and whether anything can be postponed,” Kuuse added.
Application rounds for small projects currently financed via the gambling tax and which would be difficult to implement as a result of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and accompanying emergency situation have been suspended.
Gambling tax receipts in February had already fallen by one third; a larger fall is expected through the spring months.
“Payments for the second quarter of 2020 took place in April, according to the agreed payment schedule, and we are working to mitigate the negative effects of the crisis,” Rait Kruuse said.
“As a result it is important for us to decide how to proceed, to negotiate openly with our partners, and to provide adequate information about the situation. In doing so, we are considering all ways to ensure sustainable funding for partners to carry out the necessary activities,” he added.
The Tax and Customs Board (MTA) says that gambling tax receipts were distributed with 45% of the tax coming from lotteries, 34% from slot machines, 5% from casino gaming tables, 4% from toto (a type of lottery-ed,) and 10% from online and other remote gambling.
One percent of gambling tax was collected from tournaments involving games of chance.