Updates on FOTBs and German betting tax

GamingLawPills brings news on the implementation of the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOTBs) in the UK and on a German court decision against double betting tax.

The implementation of the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOTBs) in the UK

Following what have been discussed some weeks ago regarding the taxation of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOTBs), the reduction in FOBT stakes from £ 100 to £ 2 has now been introduced. Accordingly, the UK Gambling Commission announced that it will investigate operators who attempt to avoid the £ 2 FOBT stakes cut.

The executive director at the Gambling Commission, Helen Venn, held that they are aware of potential harmful products and about expectations in relation to how operators should implement the stake reduction declaring the following

This is why we have been monitoring developments closely and last week we wrote to operators to remind them of their responsibilities to ensure consumers are protected. Where we see businesses failing to act responsibly in response to the stake reduction we will not hesitate to step in.

German double tax on sports betting wagers illegal?

A German administrative court ruled that a North Rhine-Westphalia city betting tax is an unconstitutional double taxation, opening the door to challenges to local betting taxes in other German States. The above mentioned German court ruled against a 3 percent tax on wagers in the city of Bielefeld, helding that it was improperly added to a 5 percent federal tax on wagers.

The decision might have a backlash on other local taxes adopted by dozens of cities in Germany. Most of the German cities had implemented the local gaming tax following a 2017 court ruling which struck down a tax rate based on square metres of floor space, with the court suggesting the “relatively low” tax rate of 5 percent could be supplemented with an additional tax on wagers.

According to the constitutional law expert, Professor Gregor Kirchhof, the local tax amounted to double taxation and violated provisions that mean a local tax must reflect costs to that community. On the contrary, other scholarships promote the theory according to which the ruling is likely to be specific to Bielefeld since that city went further than other municipalities and the judgment shall not be considered a general statement on the invalidity of the local taxes at all.

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Vincenzo Giuffré

Trainee Lawyer at DLA Piper IPT Italy, Milan| Graduated Student at Bocconi University: Major Business Law School | Exchange Program at University of Minnesota - W. Mondale Law School | Visiting Student at National University of Singapore (NUS)

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