Spain to reduce online gambling taxes
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The Spanish authorities have proposed new tax cuts for a fast-growing online gambling industry. The Spanish online gambling market is projected to touch $1.22 billion by 2023.
Cristobal Montoro, the Minister of Finance and Public Function, revealed the idea to the lower house of the Spanish Parliament during the draft budget presentation.
The suggested tax cut, from the current 25–20% of gross gaming revenue, is intended draw more legal, licensed operators to Spain’s thriving online gambling market as the country continues to battle offshore operators to keep its slice of the tax revenue pie.
With the market set to grow exponentially, the government of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is looking to licensed online gambling as a way to further the slow but steady economic recovery his People’s Party has ushered in despite the recent turmoil of the 2017 Catalan independence referendum.
After nearly a decade of economic nightmare that saw Spain chalking up the second highest unemployment rates in the European Union behind Greece, peaking at 26% in 2017, combined with a stagnant economy, times are finally changing, albeit slowly, for the better, and the Spanish national government is looking for ways to keep fuelling the boom.
Consultancy Ficom Lesiure has said that Spain has finally started to gain international attention in the online gambling market, with operators eyeing the country as an expansion opportunity. Ficom Leisure told AFP that revenue from online gambling and betting activities should hit between $1.22 billion and $1.84 billion in the next few years.
With a population of 46.3 million, coming in fifth behind Germany, France, the UK and Italy among its European Union neighbours, Spain’s 2017 gross gambling revenues hit $687 million in 2017, and the market itself is seen as far from saturated.
The proposed tax cuts would add significant help in raising existing operator’s bottom lines and could fuel a certain degree of consolidation in the market as it ripens. Chairman of the Spanish gambling trade association Jdigital, Mikel Lopez de Torre, who represents online gaming interests in the country, has said it is difficult to see how the country could accommodate 12 additional brands on the market in the future without some degree of consolidation in the coming years.
Source: European Gaming Industry News