Latvia to Increase Gambling Tax Rates for 2024
Latvia is set to implement a 20% increase in gambling tax rates for specific types of games starting in 2024. The government approved amendments to the Law On Lotteries and Gambling Fee and Tax during an extraordinary meeting on October 9.
Tax Rate Amendments
The proposed changes are aimed at maintaining tax rates in line with inflation and average wage growth while boosting state budget revenue and covering public expenditure positions. The key adjustments for 2024 include:
- Increasing the tax rate for slot machines (per gambling slot) from EUR 5,172 to EUR 6,204 for the calendar year.
- Raising the duty rate for roulette, card games, and dice games (per table) for the calendar year from EUR 28,080 to EUR 33,696.
- Elevating the tax rate for interactive gambling from 10% to 12% of the revenues generated from organizing those games.
Objections and Discussion
Arnis Vērzemnieks, President of the Gaming Business Association, voiced objections to the symmetric tax increase during the government meeting. The Association’s proposals may be subject to debate during the Saeima review of the draft law, as stated by representatives from the Ministry of Finance during the government meeting.
The rationale behind the tax rate adjustments lies in the fact that gambling tax rates have remained unchanged since January 1, 2020. The gambling sector carries a high social risk, necessitating regulatory functions by the State, which are partly funded through gambling levies and taxes.
According to the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection, interactive gambling revenues for gambling operators have surged by 99.4% in 2021 and 126.7% in 2022 compared to 2019.
The amendments to the Law are scheduled to take effect following their adoption by the Saeima on January 1, 2024. This move seeks to balance tax rates, stimulate state revenue growth, and ensure the appropriate regulation of the gambling industry in Latvia.