A significant change in the gaming tax rate is set to take place in the Netherlands as outlined in the recently published coalition agreement between the PVV, VVD, NSC, and BBB factions. The budgetary annex, released late at night on May 15, reveals that the gaming tax will be raised to 37.8%. This adjustment is expected to generate an additional €202 million annually for the state treasury.

The agreement was finalized just in time, with the parties reaching a consensus shortly before the deadline, according to Casinonieuws.nl. The PVV faction was the first to approve the agreement at 7:30 PM, followed by the BBB faction at 9:30 PM, and the NSC twenty minutes later. The VVD faction gave their unanimous approval at 11:40 PM, signaling the end of a negotiation session characterized by late-night deliberations over pizza.

By 1:39 AM, the final details of the agreement were hammered out, and the 26-page document was handed over to House Speaker Bosma a little after 2 AM. During the morning of May 16, the agreement titled “Hope, Courage and Pride” was officially presented to the public in the Netherlands.

Gaming Tax Increase

The coalition agreement, formed by the right-leaning parties, does not specifically mention gambling within its main text. However, the budgetary annex details the planned increase in the gaming tax from the current rate of 30.5% to 37.8%, aiming to bring in an extra 202 million euros each year into the state’s coffers.

The annex explicitly states: “Increase gambling tax. The gambling tax will be increased by 202 million euros on a structural basis. This means a rate increase from 30.5% to 37.8%.” An increase in the gaming tax has been a known priority for some parties. Analysis from the Central Planning Bureau of the VVD’s political plans last November indicated that the party sought to raise €400 million for the state through an increase in the gaming tax.

Industry Response

Last week, a report by KPMG highlighted the adverse impact that even a 1% increase in the gaming tax could have on the arcade sector. Following this, the trade association VAN Kansspelen issued a warning about the potential negative consequences. After the budgetary annex was made public, VAN Kansspelen reiterated their concerns, expressing shock at the proposed tax hike. They emphasized the detrimental effects it could have on the industry.

NOGA (Netherlands Online Gambling Association) also voiced their apprehensions, warning that the increase could jeopardize the legal market. As the implications of the new tax rate unfold, industry stakeholders are likely to continue their advocacy against the increase, arguing for the need to balance fiscal goals with the sustainability of the Dutch gaming sector.