Taxes on gambling could grow next year in Latvia

Next year, it is planned to increase gambling tax rates for certain types of games by 20%. Amendments to the Law On Lotteries and Gambling Fee and Tax were approved by the government during an extraordinary meeting on Monday, October 9.

The bill's annotation says: in order to balance tax rates with inflation and average wage growth in the state, as well as increase revenue in the state budget and ensure covering of public expenditure positions, the draft law provides, starting in 2024:

  • to increase the tax rate for slot machines (for each gambling slot) from EUR 5,172 to EUR 6,204 for the calendar year;
  • to increase the rate of duty for roulette and card and dice game (for each table) for the calendar year from EUR 28,080 to EUR 33,696;
  • to increase the tax rate for interactive gambling from 10% to 12% of the revenues from organizing that game.

Arnis Vērzemnieks, President of the Gaming Business Association, objected to a symmetric increase in the tax at the government meeting. The Association's proposals could be debated during the Saeima review of the draft law, representatives of the Ministry of Finance said at the meeting of the government.

The bill's annotation says gambling tax rates have not changed since January 1, 2020. The gambling sector is exposed to a particularly high social risk and therefore the State needs to carry out a regulatory function, partly through the gambling levy and tax.

According to the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection, gambling operators' revenues from interactive gambling have increased by 99.4% in 2021 and by 126.7% in 2022 compared to 2019.

Currently, in Latvia, the gambling tax for interactive gambling is 10% of the revenues of organizing a game.

Amendments to the Law are planned to come into force after their adoption by the Saeima on January 1,  2024.

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