The Ministry of Finance (MOF) plans to regulate online betting and tax bettors in order to increase revenues by amending the Law on Games of Chance. The experience of Croatia, where the players’ payments were taxed at five percent, calls them to be careful, because in the EU member state, the volume of payments fell by 30 percent after that levy. According to the Government’s program, the new Law on Games of Chance is planned for the third quarter.
– Whichever model is chosen, we will make sure that it has no influence on the habits of the players – they said from the department headed by Aleksandar Damjanović.
The Ministry of Finance states that taxation of players, that is, their payments, is only one of the considered models on the basis of which revenues can be increased.
– During the analysis of possible solutions, in addition to the impact on the players and their habits, the technical possibility of performing adequate supervision of each of the organizers was considered. In addition to taxation of payments, the possibility of increasing the fixed concession fee, which now amounts to EUR 10,000 per month for online games of chance, the introduction of a variable part of the concession fee on the difference between payments and payouts, or a combination of the mentioned measures, is being considered – said the government department.
They also pointed out that taxation of players’ payments may result in their desire to make payments on a foreign internet site.
– This is precisely why we take into account two facts. The first is that a ban will be introduced – the “darkening” of foreign internet sites, as well as the ban on the possibility of making payments to sites abroad. The second is the amount of the fee, which must be adequate, that is, it does not act as a disincentive on the players, and it still provides significant income for the budget. In this respect, the experience of Croatia is significant, where after the introduction of a fee of five percent on the payment, the volume of payments on betting games decreased by almost 30%. Therefore, it is obvious that this levy was too high, and that the players redirected their payments to foreign websites – said the Ministry of Finance.
Amendments to the Law on Games of Chance, as they said, are in the stage of draft regulations and will be forwarded to the Government for consideration as soon as possible.
– The legal solution that will be proposed to the Government will better define the provisions in the field of internet (online) organization of games of chance. The intention is to respect international practice and trends, but also to respect the specifics of arrangements that exist in our market. This is especially important considering the rapid development of this method of arranging, that is, the practice of arranging games of chance is increasingly being moved to internet platforms. The most significant changes will be those that regulate the relationship between organizers, players and the competent authority in a systemically sustainable way. All players must be registered, and games reported and with clearly defined rules. The registration of each of the games increases the tax base, while the choice of an adequate tax model will affect the increase in income – concluded the Ministry of Finance.