The Czech Republic’s finance minister, Zbyněk Stanjura, has said he is planning to introduce a higher tax rate for gambling.
Stanjura has “asked the experts to divide gambling into three groups according to their harmfulness”, according to website Seznam Zprávy.
“Eight to nine billion goes into the state budget from gambling taxes, it's nothing dramatic, but we still have to do it,” Stanjura said.
The government wants to save an estimated €70bn in next year's budget, Stanjura said, as he seeks to get approval from opposition parties for his plans to ensure they are sustainable in the long run for the country.
In the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Finance is the regulatory authority for gambling.
The gambling tax rate is currently 23 percent of gross gaming revenue (GGR) for all regulated products, except for partial lotteries and technical games, which pay a rate of 35 percent, according to the current version of the Gambling Tax Act.
The umbrella term “technical games” is used to cover all forms of gaming machines and online slots in the Czech Republic.
The finance minister made the comments as discussions are ongoing among lawmakers to reduce the country’s levels of debt, cancel ten tax discounts and change support for pensions, according to a Q&A with Stanjura published on the finance ministry’s website on February 27.
Debt accounted for 45.2 percent of the country's nominal GDP in September 2022, compared with 43.5 percent in the previous quarter, according to CEIC data.
The Czech Republic Debt Management Annual Report for 2022 is set to be published today (February 28), which could contain more official details on the possible gambling tax changes and how they will be implemented.
At the time of writing, the Ministry of Finance had not responded to a request for comment.