Rastatt: Dispute over planned betting office tax

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A conflict is brewing between betting shop operators and the city council in Rastatt. According to a report in the Badische Neueste Nachrichten, the municipal council of the Baden-Württemberg city wants to introduce an additional tax for terrestrial sports betting operators. However, the plans have met with considerable criticism from those affected and the German Sports Betting Association.

Dispute over planned betting office tax

According to the report, the city council plans to vote on the possible betting office tax at its meeting today (Monday). This would amount to 3% of the gross betting stake and come into force on January 1, 2022. Betting shops would have to pay the tax for brokering horse or sports bets if they allow betting events to be followed on monitors in addition to accepting betting slips. 

Player protection or financial motives?

The official aim of the tax is to reduce the number of betting shops and improve player protection for citizens. However, according to the newspaper, Matthias Dahms, chairman of the German Sports Betting Association, sees mainly financial motives in the movie.

Thus, the city administration counts on additional incomes at a value of annually 50,000 euro. However, the association spokesman assumes that the tax will be overturned by a court, as it leads to double taxation of operators.

Dahms explained:

“We assume that the court will declare the betting office tax illegal”.

However, a comparable betting office tax in the city of Koblenz already withstood a lawsuit. At the beginning of the year, the administrative court ruled that the tax was legal if, in addition to accepting bets in the betting office, it was possible to follow the corresponding competitions. Play tax-free at Indian casinos online!

Conflict area gambling tax

The taxation of bookmakers is not only a field of conflict at the local level. The 5.3% tax on all bets placed online by players, as stipulated in the State Gambling Treaty, has also provoked massive opposition from providers.

According to the gambling companies, the tax leads to considerable distortion of competition, as terrestrial gambling is given an advantage. For example, the tax rate for online poker is several times higher than the tax burden on stationary gambling. The situation is similar for slot machines.

Dispute over planned betting office tax

The criticism culminated in June in a complaint by the Association of European Gambling Operators (EGBA) to the EU Commission. The EGBA sees the plan as inadmissible discrimination of online providers, which violates EU law. So far, it is not known how the EU Commission will act on this issue.

Due to the ambiguous legal situation, the dispute is likely to continue at both local and international levels for the time being. An end to the dispute is not yet in sight.

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