The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the Brussels-based trade union of online gaming and betting operators in Europe, has filed a formal state aid complaint to the European Commission (EC) about the German government’s move to fix a 5.3% tax on online poker and slots stakes.
According to the EGBA, the proposed tax violates the EU state aid rules because it is discriminatory against online operators. When the rule comes into force, online betting and gambling providers in the country will end up paying four to five times higher tax than their land-based counterparts.
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, explained:
“We have previously made our concerns about the tax proposal known to the German authorities but to no avail and they will now need to justify the measure under EU law. We appreciate the efforts made in recent years towards introducing a new online gambling regulation in the country and recognise that an appropriate tax will need to be paid by online gambling operators. However, the rate of the proposed tax is punitively high and will distort market competition and directly benefit Germany’s land-based gambling establishments over their online counterparts. We call on German politicians to rethink the proposed tax rate and bring it closer in line with the tax rate applied to online casino products in other EU countries.”