Panama To End 5.5% Controversial Gambling Tax

The Panamanian Gaming Control Board (JCJ) has announced that it will eliminate the contentious 5.5 per cent tax on all gambling winnings, including game stakes, implemented by the Government of Panama in 2015.

The regulator said it thought that the change would increase the tourism industry of the and attract more global competitors.

In fact, the JCJ, a unit of the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the country, announced that it would establish a fresh electronic auditing scheme and employ more auditors to better manage the collection of taxes.

JCJ secretary Manuel Sánchez said: “We will increase revenues and promote responsible gambling, this set of measures and others will help us to make this activity positively impact the country’s economy.”

The tax led to criticism from the country’s gambling industry, with the Association of Gambling Operators (CCIAP) calling for a presidential veto on the proposal when it was implemented.

The JCJ found that in the first eight months of 2019, PAB50.8 m (£ 41.1m/€46.3m/$50.8 m) was collected in gambling taxes, a 33.2 percent decline relative to PAB76.1 m produced in the same span of 2018.

In associated news, Sanchez met with Luis Calvo Reyes, head of Mexico’s Games y Sorteos legislative agency, last week to address gambling laws, including taxes, in each nation.

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