Czech lower house approves tax rise on slot machines

The Czech Republic’s lower house has given its final approval to a bill that will increase taxes on betting companies and slot machines in the country.

Slot machines will now be taxed a rate of 35%, rather than the existing 28%, although the rate on other activities such as sports betting and lotteries will remain at 23%.

The rates will be applied on top of a regular corporation tax rate of 19%.

According to the Reuters news agency, in 2014, Czechs spent 138 billion crowns (€5.1 billion/$5.7 billion) on gambling, an amount that is equal to approximately 3.5% of the country’s annual economic output, with more than half being spent on mechanical and video slot machines.

The Czech Finance Ministry estimated that the bill, which is yet to be approved by the Senate, will not only help increase state revenue, but also reduce gambling addiction in the country.

The bill will also open up the Czech market to foreign online betting companies, while the Finance Ministry will have the authority to shut down illegal betting websites.

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