When the topic of legalizing casinos comes up in a particular district or country, one of the first things that have presented by the people in favour of them is that the local governments will earn more tax dollars. By opening casinos, budgets will be boosted with tax dollars, which can then go to prop up struggling public schools, helping those in need and investing in infrastructure.
But that begs the question: just how much are casinos being taxed? Setting aside the licensing fees (another way that governments make money from casinos), let’s look at the various tax rates for casinos around the world and see how much they have to pay out on their winnings.
Gambling Tax Rate: Up To 83.5%
In 2017, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported that France has the highest ratios of tax revenues (46.2%) versus GDP, making it the most taxed country. That’s why it’s no surprise that they are also the top spot for taxing casino revenues.
The French government will take a whopping 37.7% of horse racing wins, 44.5% of sports betting profits and 52.2% from online sportsbooks. Land-based casinos get hit the hardest as they can be taxed up to 83.5%. These taxes make it much harder to open and run a successful gaming business in the country.
Gambling Tax Rate: Up To 80%
Running a land-based casino – or any type of gaming venue – in Germany faces similar headwinds as in France. If you’re looking to open a land-based casino, expect to pay anywhere from 20%-80% of total gaming revenues. That’s a big burden. Even sports are hit hard as they have a 5% turnover tax, which means they’ll pay 5% on the total amount of bets received, not just the profits. Those costs are often passed down to the customer, which leads to uncompetitive sports betting lines compared to other places in the world.
Gambling Tax Rate: Up To 80%
Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe in terms of population but one of the highest in casino taxes. They’ll charge land-based casinos anywhere from 10%-80% on their gaming revenue while sports betting and lotteries get hit at 15%.
In terms of online gambling, it’s heavily restricted in the country with some weird rules. Some things, like lottery and instant-win, are available online through the National Lottery. Some German sports betting sites are allowed to operate in the country and serve customers in Luxembourg.
Gambling Tax Rate: Up To 75%
Denmark is often rated as one of the world’s happiest countries, and one of the main reasons for it is the taxes. They go to fund social programs and help everyone improve their quality of life. Some of those high taxes are in the gaming realm, where they’ll tax casinos up to 75%. Online casinos and sports betting are slapped with a 20% tax, while land-based casinos can see anything from 45%-75%.
Gambling Tax Rate: Up To 65%
Australia has over 20 land-based casinos spread out over the eight states, and they also have hundreds of smaller gambling sites, which tend to host slot machines. One thing that’s in common with these spots is they’ll all have to pay a high tax for operating. Although it varies by state, gaming venues Down Under can expect to pay upwards of 65% in taxes.
USA (Up To 51%)
United Kingdom (Up To 50%)
Now that we’ve had a look at the Top 10 places with the highest gambling rates, let’s take a look at the countries that are much friendlier towards gambling taxation around the world.
Gambling Tax Rate: 0%
If you’re looking to open a casino, Russia might be the place to be. They have the lowest gambling taxes in the world as you’ll pay a big, fat zero in terms of taxes. Be careful, though, as many old wives’ tales suggest that you might have to pay a tax to the mob if they knock on your door.
Gambling Tax Rate: Up To 5%
Singapore is not only one of the cleanest, most innovative countries in the world; it’s also one of the best places to operate a casino. That’s probably why they have some of the world’s most gorgeous venues. In Singapore, online casinos usually pay about 5%, and while land-based casinos aren’t much higher, they can get into a bracket as high as 15%.
Gambling Tax Rate: Up To 10%
Although Finland and Russia are technically neighbours, they don’t typically have a ton in common. One similar view that they do share, though, is the low tax rate for casinos. Finland, which has just shy of 20 gambling facilities, including casinos and sports betting outlets, puts a 10% tax on all gambling revenues.
Gambling Tax Rate: Up To 11%
Belgium is known as one of the more progressive European countries when it comes to online gambling. While many countries in Europe still have online gaming either blocked off or in a grey area, Belgium has been open to online gambling since 2011. While the country is still fairly restrictive on who can get a license, they are much more relaxed on the taxation side.
Belgium currently charges its casinos an 11% on gaming revenues, which is the fourth-lowest number in the world. This is one of the best markets both for players and operators, as the country does an excellent job of running a free market.
Gambling Tax Rate: Up 15%
Argentina has been facing financial problems for the last couple of years, so it is possible to look at the taxation of casinos as an area where they can reel in a little more money for themselves. Right now, Argentina has the fifth-lowest taxation rate for casinos in the country as they only charge 15%. In comparison to some of the other countries on this list, this number is quite low.
The country does take a bigger bite out of the profits from online casinos. All gaming revenues from gaming websites are taxed at 25%, which is 10% higher than the land-based venues.
Italy (Up To 25%)