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Government proposes to tax poker card games

OPERATORS of gambling parlours will have to pay taxes to the state for poker-type card games beginning in 2010. The Slovak cabinet approved the revision to the law on gambling games prepared by the Finance Ministry which adds this new category of gambling, the SITA newswire reported. The revision requires that these games be operated in casinos only on the basis of an individual license. Outside formal casinos, provision of the poker games is to be conditioned on a general license.

OPERATORS of gambling parlours will have to pay taxes to the state for poker-type card games beginning in 2010. The Slovak cabinet approved the revision to the law on gambling games prepared by the Finance Ministry which adds this new category of gambling, the SITA newswire reported. The revision requires that these games be operated in casinos only on the basis of an individual license. Outside formal casinos, provision of the poker games is to be conditioned on a general license.

If lawmakers approve this legislation, the providers of poker-type card games would pay monthly taxes of €200 per table or €1,500 annually. The amendment is expected to bring €7.6 million or more to the state budget next year and increase revenues of municipalities by €3 million, SITA wrote.

The state budget may also receive higher revenues from alcohol taxes. The Finance Ministry has proposed raising excise tax rates on spirits but has backed down on introducing a tax on still wine.

“There was a suggestion that excise tax on wine be increased but we dropped this concept following a discussion in cabinet,” said Finance Minister Jan Pociatek, as quoted by SITA.

Government ministers suggested giving up the idea because of the zero-tax rates in neighbouring countries and potential harm to Slovak producers. A higher tax rate will only be levied on spirits with the basic tax rate per hectolitre of distilled spirits increasing from its current rate of €939.38 to €1,080 beginning in March 2010. The cabinet has no intention of further increasing taxes but rates will not fall either, the Finance Minister said after the session, as reported by SITA.

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