The Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic has announced its intention to increase taxes on gambling. The Finance Minister, Zbyněk Stanjura, is working on new measures for the national budget, with a savings target of Kč 70bn (€3bn) to maintain the country’s national deficit at Kč 295bn (€12.6m) and avoid a record high debt-to-GDP ratio of +46%.

Finance Minister Aims to Raise State Funds through Tax Changes

Czech gambling currently contributes Kč 9bn (€390m) annually to the state budget. Stanjura believes that tax changes could result in an additional Kč 1bn going into the state funds, though he did not specify the details of these changes.

In 2020, the Czech ANO (Citizens) government approved a new 23-to-35% tiered GGR tax charge to get implemented on all licensed gambling products under the Czech Gambling Act, such as lotteries, sports betting, totalizer games, bingo, live gaming, slot machines, and raffles. This move led to foreign operators such as William Hill and GVC Holdings (now Entain Plc) leaving the market, citing the tax terms as unviable.

Domestic Companies Take Control of the Czech Gambling Market after Foreign Operators Exit

As a result, domestic companies Fortuna Entertainment and TipSport now maintain the majority of the market share for sports betting and gambling, with SAZKA operating the Czech National Lottery. The Treasury is open to propositions on savings, but Stanjura’s budget will prioritize reducing expenses over implementing taxes on income. The country prefers a tax hike on gambling over adopting new tariffs on consumer goods, such as a consumption charge on wine, which other EU member states have implemented.

It’s worth noting that the Czech Republic has relatively strict gambling laws. Only licensed operators may offer their services in the country. The Gambling Act, introduced in 2017, regulates all forms of gambling, including lotteries, sports betting, and online gaming.

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