Kindred welcomes VAT exemption for online gambling in Belgium

Kindred welcomes VAT exemption for online gambling in Belgium

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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The constitutional amendment from 2016 was annulled last week

Kindred Group has welcomed the decision to annul a constitutional amendment under which online gambling operators in Belgium were required to pay 21% VAT, in a court ruling that reflected the “inherent compatibility” between consumer protection and tax revenue objectives.

The Group, which counts Unibet and 32Red among its stable of online brands, has fervently challenged the VAT charge since it came into play on 1 August 2016.

Ewout Keuleers, Group General Counsel from Kindred Group, told "We are pleased to see that the Belgian constitutional court recognizes the principle of the VAT directive that gambling should not be subject to VAT, but only to sector specific taxation.”

Back in 2016, the Belgian government justified the amendment as a revenue source to boost the country’s tax income, in a move that would generate an estimated €39 million.

However, Malta-based Kindred has since challenged the ruling on the grounds that the VAT policy was incompatible with Belgium’s national gambling framework objectives, resulted in a ‘lower channelisation’ which led to a decline in consumer protections, and was unfair given that other gaming verticals such as lotteries and land-based casinos had remained exempt.

Totally Gaming says: This Constitutional Court of Belgium ruling is a welcome boost for those operating in Belgium, who suffered a blow in October 2017 with the introduction of a stricter advertising code, which included an 8pm watershed on gambling-related ads and a limit on the number allowed per operator.


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