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Belgian court overturns a law that imposed VAT on online gambling

Athira A

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Belgium gambling. Photo credits: https://www.google.co.in
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A Belgian court overturned a law that imposed value added tax (VAT) on online gambling in the country, owing to the challenges raised by several high-profile gaming operators.

Thus, the ruling by the Belgian Constitutional Court overturned the 2016 amendment introduced by the Belgian Finance Ministry that ended a VAT exemption for gaming operators.

Introduced on August 1st, 2016, this amendment called for  licensees to pay an additional 21 per cent tax on Belgian operations with the anticipations  to generate €75m per year  for the government.

This  triggered  legal challenges from a diverse range of companies, including European operators Kindred Group, Casinos Austria International, and PokerStars who were  were backed up  by local brands Carousel, betFIRST, and Casino Belgium, accompanied by  the government of Belgium’s French-speaking Walloon Region.

The operators emphasized  that with lotteries still exempt from paying VAT on activities, the move distorted competition in the market.

They also pointed out that despite creating additional tax revenue in the short-term, it could reduce gaming tax in the long-term. With escalated  costs making it more expensive, and less attractive, to operate in Belgium, it was creating a situation in which unlicensed operators could thrive, they said.

This argument was supported by the Walloon Government, which also argued that by removing the VAT exemption for gambling the federal government had encroached on the freedoms of the regional authorities.

The Constitutional Court accepted the arguments and scrapped the VAT provision for gaming companies.

However, it said, VAT paid on Belgian operations since August 2016 would not be reimbursed.

“Given the budgetary and administrative difficulties that would arise from the reimbursement of taxes already paid, it is therefore necessary to permanently maintain the effects of the provisions set aside,” the court explicated.

Kindred Group welcomed the court’s decision, saying that it highlighted the incompatibility of consumer protection and tax revenue objectives, especially when products and channels are taxed at different rates.

“For any gambling policy to succeed and with the ‘better offer one click away’, locally regulated online operators must be able to provide services of equivalent value to end consumers as services provided by competitors in the global digital world,” the operator said.

“Kindred remains a strong advocate of sustainable regulation based upon a borderless digital market and channelling consumer demand to licensed offerings. We look forward to working with national and international policy makers and regulators to ensure gaming policy is sustainable and fact based.”

SOURCE: GamingIntelligence

Athira is a self-described “logophile” – a lover of words. She loves updating her vocabulary and playing around with words, to frame a sensible world of letters. Letters come alive when they become words and when words become sentences. And that’s her job, to put them together in a meaningful way without loosing its essence. She has written content for websites, articles and poems for an international magazine, and press releases as well. She also loves writing on social media. She holds a Masters degree in bio-technology, but she has always been interested in the organic farming of words. Besides writing content for our daily news feed, she is also working as staff writer/editor with Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Daily Fantasy Sports

New headquarters for DraftKings

Niji Narayan

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New headquarters for DraftKings
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DraftKings, one of Boston’s largest tech companies, is moving into a new corporate headquarters in downtown Boston, as it planned to grow from 425 employees to more than 700 employees in 2019. About 600 of those workers were expected to be based in Boston.

Company executives are hosting a ribbon cutting and tour of the 105,000-square-foot space near Copley Square in the city’s Back Bay neighbourhood.

DraftKings was founded in 2012 and made its mark as a major force in daily fantasy sports. The company is currently located in an office building near South Station.

 

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Industry News

AGTech announces revenue report of 2018

Niji Narayan

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AGTech announces revenue report of 2018
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AGTech Holdings Limited announced its final results for the last year, revealing a profit of approximately HK$317.1 million (US$40.4 million). The results were up from a loss of HK$302.2 million in the prior year period.

Revenue of the group, however, was down 44.2 per cent year-on-year to approximately HK$168.6 million.

The main revenue contributions were from lottery hardware, lottery games, and systems, provision of distribution and ancillary services, games and entertainment business in the PRC.

The decrease in revenue was caused by an HK$86.0 million decrease in revenue from its games and entertainment division and a decrease in sales of lottery hardware of approximately HK$60.3 million.

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Gambling in the USA

Caesars Palace casino dealers join with UAW Labour Union

Niji Narayan

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Caesars Palace casino dealers join with UAW Labour Union
Photo Source: agoda.com
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Caesars Palace is one of the largest properties in that part of Las Vegas with a variety of spacious facilities, including its nearly 125,000-square-foot casino floor.

Caesars Palace table game dealers now move to unite with the UAW, the major Detroit-based labour union representing workers from different industries across the United States and Canada. Nearly 550 casino dealers at Caesars Palace voted to unite with the UAW.

The Caesars Palace unionisation decision was made after a 371-12 vote in favour of the move. More than 1,470 dealers at Caesars-owned Bally’s Harrah’s, Paris, and Wynn Resorts’ Las Vegas casinos voted last week to join the union that represents around 400,000 active workers in different industries.

Union President Gary Jones said that they were thrilled to have Caesars Palace “vote to be allowed to join what are now over 10,000 casino workers in the UAW.”

Vance Pearson, Director of UAW Region 5, said in a release that they welcome the new union members and “look forward to getting down to business and bargaining great contracts.”

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