Netherlands caretaker government proposes temporary gambling tax hike

Gaming operators in the Netherlands are facing a tax rate of more than 30 per cent under a new proposal announced Tuesday in the country's 2018 budget plan.

The budget proposes a temporary increase in the gambling tax rate from 29 per cent to 30.1 per cent from January 1st, 2018.

The proposal specifically states that the new tax rate should remain in force until six months after the country's new Gaming Act, which legalises online gaming for the first time, has come into force.

This is expected to shore up any deficit in tax revenue caused by continuing delays to the implementation of the new act.

Should the proposal be adopted, the tax would rise beyond a rate already seen as prohibitively high by many Dutch land-based operators.

The new Gambling Act does include provisions to reduce the land-based tax rate to 25 per cent of GGR over three years, although this is still seen as an excessively high rate by many in the industry.

The proposal has been put forward by the Netherlands' caretaker government, which is comprised of the former ruling coalition of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and Labour Party. 

The Netherlands has been without a government since the general election in March this year, with discussions ongoing to form a new coalition government.

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