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Two Dutch MPs have introduced a plan to increase the country’s gambling tax rate from 29.5% to 30.5%, as a countermeasure to the impending rise in alcohol taxes in the country.

The Dutch government recently announced its intention to implement a 16.2% increase in excise duties on alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, starting from 1 January 2024. 

This move is anticipated to generate an extra €74m in revenue.

However, Chris Stoffer, the leader of the Reformed Political Party (SGP), and Silvio Erkens from the conservative-liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) argue that the government’s alcohol tax hike is too extensive.

Stoffer (pictured left) and Erkens are concerned that this increase may lead to adverse economic consequences, especially in regions near the border, where consumers might opt to purchase cheaper alcohol in neighbouring countries with lower excise duties. 

Such a scenario could jeopardise the survival and job prospects of local small businesses, according to the two MPs.

Raising the gambling tax

To address this concern, the duo has put forward an alternative solution to the impending alcohol tax increase and has recommended two substantial modifications to the government’s current tax plan.

One of these adjustments involves raising the gambling tax by one percentage point, which is expected to generate an estimated €26m in additional revenue.

They also recommend raising the excise rate on tobacco, which is projected to result in €48m in additional tax revenue.

Additionally, they are calling on authorities to establish a clear distinction in gambling tax regulations by the year 2025. 

They point out that online gambling has seen a surge in popularity in recent times, making it more appropriate for the increased taxation. 

However, the current gambling tax system does not differentiate between various forms of gambling, making it impossible to specifically target online gambling for higher taxation.

Once this distinction is in place, Stoffer and Erkens conclude that the bulk of the extra revenue from the proposed increase in gambling tax could be sourced from heavier taxation on online gambling companies, potentially allowing for a rollback of the increase for other taxpayers.

Earlier this month, Dutch MP Anne Kuik hit the headlines when she launched an initiative to reverse the country’s Remote Gambling Act (KOA).

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