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Sweden raises gambling taxes while Lithuania and Georgia consider new laws

April 2, 2024
3 min
191

Sweden raises gambling tax from 2024, Lithuania discusses restrictions on the gambling industry, and Georgia places 1.5 million people on the gambling ban register.

The Swedish government decides to raise the tax on gambling

The Swedish government has outlined a proposal to increase the gambling tax by 4%, starting July 1, 2024. Currently, gambling companies are required to pay 18% of gross gambling revenue. Under the new law, the rate will be increased to 22%.

Regulators expect to add SEK 540 million (approximately €45.5 million) annually to the state budget. According to the Swedish government, the tax increase comes from a desire to stabilize the country's gambling market in the wake of its legalization in 2019.

Nevertheless, authorities still have concerns about the low level of regulation in Sweden. A study by trade association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) shows that the level of channelization in the country is only 77%. By raising taxes on gambling, the government hopes to make the goal of 90% market channelization a reality.

Lithuania considers several amendments to the gambling law

The Lithuanian parliament has launched a discussion of a series of amendments to further limit the activities of gambling companies — or even to ban them from advertising completely. The proposed changes will be discussed in detail in parliament on April 25, after which the government will express its opinion on them.

Parliament will consider three packages of amendments: the first proposes a complete ban on gambling advertising, the second aims to control problem gambling and set the age limit at 21, and the third proposes to limit spending in gambling establishments to only a portion of declared income during the year, as well as banning the payment of winnings in cash.

Amendments are also being considered that would allow gambling advertising but require players to self-exclude if they develop behavior consistent with problem gambling or gambling addiction. These amendments would come into effect in January 2025.

Gambling operators will be required to provide the tax office with information on all players whose winnings or losses exceed €100,000 per month.

The debate on restricting or even banning advertising began after it became publicly known that former BaltCap investment trust partner Šarūnas Stepukonis had possibly lost millions of euros of corporate funds in casinos, and gambling company Olympic Casino Group Baltija publicly tried to absolve itself of responsibility.

Georgia places 1.5 million residents on the gambling disqualification list

The Ministry of Finance officially announced that the data of 1,503,989 people were automatically included in the roster of individuals prohibited from gambling. This list includes all players under the age of 25, as well as government employees, people with criminal records, and self-excluded members.

Problem gambling is a serious concern in the country. According to Georgian regulations, a particular player’s gambling access can be restricted by the court at a family member’s request. It’s also possible to request self-exclusion on the Internal Revenue Service’s website.

These changes are related to stricter regulations in all areas of gambling, which will come into force on July 1, 2024. Operators will face a fine of €10,000 for non-compliance.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili also instructed the relevant agencies to consider the possibility of increasing the tax on winnings from 2% to 5%. This measure may be considered and implemented by the end of this year.

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