The European Commission announced this week that German state regulatory frameworks attached to land-based casino taxation policy will be reviewed to determine whether certain tax grants benefit state-owned operators.
The EC confirms its inquiry by reporting that it has received numerous complaints naming Bundesland (German State) tax grants and assurances given as forms of state assistance to’ public casinos,’ in breach of European Union business laws.
In addition, the EC must determine whether additional state-level tax charges on private casino operators ‘financial resources’ have created an unfair competitive marketplace.
There are currently 65 land-based casinos operating in Germany, most of which are owned or partly owned by the authorities of the Bundesland.
Under current regulatory frameworks, individual German states have the authority under their respective Bundesland’ Casino Acts’ to set individual licencing requirements and operator tax rates.
Of particular concern, the EC must examine the modification of its’ Casino Act’ by the Bundesland of North Rhine-Westphalia, which is alleged to have given various tax concessions to Westspiel GMBH, a state-backed operator, allowing the operator to maintain its regional market supremacy.
EC officials announce that the opportunity will be given to individual parties and broader stakeholders to submit comments and information in support of their German casino tax investigation.