EC Approves Proposed Levy on Online Horse-Race Betting
Numerous online gambling associations have been protesting against the European Commission’s approval of a French proposal to impose an extra levy on online horse-race betting to raise extra funds for horse-racing companies.
France has notified the European Commission that it is planning to impose an additional levy of 8% on all horse-race bets placed online. The revenue from the levy is to go towards services to improve horse-breeding.
The Commission begun investigating the proposal in 2010 and eventually decided earlier this week that the scheme is compatible with its own regulations. It concluded that spreading the financial burden of races across operators would ensure fair competition in the online horse-race betting market.
In a joint press release the Remote Gambling Association and the European Gaming and Betting Association expressed their “concern” over the EC decision. They pointed out that the levy was proposed amid concerns that competition in horse-race betting would threaten revenues, however, since 2010 revenues have been steadily growing.
The release also argued that levies can only be justified if they really serve common interest objectives, such as veterinary research. Therefore, by transferring funds from one industry to another would distort the competition between sectors.