Revenue from gambling is almost always taxed, all around the world. But, how proceeds from gambling are taxed varies widely. In some countries, it’s only the gambling operator that pays taxes, while in other countries taxes are also paid by the individual players.

To find out more about this, sometimes complex topic, let’s have a look at how taxes are applied around the world. And not least, where Australia measures up to their counterparts.

How Gambling Taxes Are Calculated

There are many ways in which gambling taxes can be calculated. Some countries will base it on wagers placed, while others will tax based on the gross gambling revenue (GGR).

Furthermore, not all forms of gambling will be taxed equally. The tax percentage can be different for sports betting, horse racing, poker, bingo, and casino games.

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The Countries With the Highest Gambling Taxes

In some countries, operating a casino or a gambling service of any kind is not very profitable. And, that’s exactly what the governments are aiming for when taxing these businesses as high as they do. One wouldn’t be too far off the mark if one would guess that the exorbitantly high taxes as used as a disincentive for anyone to run a gambling business.

Without further ado, let’s have a look at which countries tax gambling services the most:

  1. Germany – 90%
  2. France – 80%
  3. Austria – 80%
  4. Luxembourg – 80%
  5. Denmark – 75%
  6. Poland – 50%
  7. United Kingdom – 50%
  8. Australia – 45%
  9. Macau – 39%
  10. Kenya – 35%

Note that the above percentages are not applicable across all forms of gambling. For example, in France, land-based casinos tax as much as 83.5% of their GGR. But, horse racing is only taxed at 37.7%, with other types of gambling somewhere between these two highs and lows.

Likewise, tax rates may differ in countries with state laws, like in Australia, Canada and Germany. For these countries, the type of gambling and the applicable state might impact how much an operator has to tax based on their revenue.

Countries with highest gambling taxes

The Countries With the Lowest Gambling Taxes

Not all countries choose to heavily tax all gambling activity, as they might rather look at gambling as s source of tax revenue, just like all other commerce. Playing the long game, it can be better for countries to encourage the operation of legal and reputable gambling services, instead of driving the country’s gambling underground – where no taxes can be collected.

Keeping the taxes lower can in some cases be the best long-term bet for a country’s tax code.

Let’s have a look at the countries known for taxing gambling activities the lowest:

  1. Russia
  2. Italy
  3. Cambodia
  4. Belgium
  5. Czech Republic

If a country has 0% taxes based on GGR, it doesn’t mean it’s free for all to just pile up all the revenue as net income. There might be other fees involved.

For example in Russia, a casino or gambling operator is not paying any taxes based on revenue. But, they pay a fixed rate fee for offering gambling services. The fees are based on the number of tables or games they offer.

These fees can be high for an establishment without many partons, but for larger establishments, this fee makes up just a fraction of what they would have had to pay if they were taxed based on revenue.

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Countries Where You Can Get Tax-Free Gambling Winnings

It might be interesting to know which countries charge the most or least taxes from gambling operators, like casinos. But, in reality, does it really matter to you?

Unless you have, or are planning to open, a casino or betting parlour, you probably won’t care how much of your bets go towards taxes. What’s much more interesting to you, as a private citizen, is how much you need to pay in taxes from the money you withdraw as winnings from the casino. Right?

So, let’s look at which countries are the most beneficial for players to live in when cashing gambling winnings – from the perspective of applicable taxes.

Psst! Check out which country we’ve listed at the top of this list. This is surely good news to all Aussie punters!

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Luxemburg
  • Malta
  • Romania
  • Sweden

You’ll notice that many of the countries on this list are also present on the list of countries with the highest gambling taxes – for gambling operators. So, it’s quite clear that these countries have chosen to lay all of the tax burdens on the business, and let the players off the tax hook. So Australian players get tax free winnings and let the operators take care of the cost.

Countries that tax the gambling operators less tend to split the tax bill between the operators and the casinos.

But, there might be exceptions for professional players. Even though recreational gamblers might get away with not paying taxes, residents might be taxed if gambling is their main source of income. So sometimes, winning too much can be a disadvantage.

Eve Luneborg

Sub-editor & Casino Content Maestro

Eve Luneborg has been a dynamic presence in the online casino industry since 2014, starting at a burgeoning casino in Malta that has now become a leading gambling site. Initially a support agent, she progressed to handling payments and training new staff on processing withdrawals and KYC documents.

In 2016, Eve transitioned from casino operations to become a writer in the iGaming industry.

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