North Cyprus Commissioner Proposes Law Amendment to Reduce Gambling Tax Rate

Home » North Cyprus Commissioner Proposes Law Amendment to Reduce Gambling Tax Rate

A Turkish opposition party representative announced that the north Cyprus casinos will pay a lower tax rate after the new bill is passed in the ”parliament.” MP party representative in the ‘parliamentary’ finance committee Erkut Sahali told Cyprus mail on 25 April 2024 that this body had approved two installments of reforms regarding casino operations in the northern part of Cyprus.

Gaming Services Tax Reduction:

As reported by Cyprus Mail, the politician said that the first portion of reforms would bring an increase in tax rates. Sahali reportedly explained that the tax rates imposed on casinos would depend on the number of tables and slot machines owned by casino operators. The bill passed on 22 April 2024 would reportedly increase these tax rates by 17 % across all casino operations in north Cyprus.

Going Down from 10 to 5 %:

According to the source, the law amendment will reportedly cut the gaming services from 10% to five percent. The commissioner explained that the tax rate will apply to gross gaming revenue earned by casinos after deducting the winnings paid to successful gamblers, as Cyprus Mail reports. Sahali reportedly said: ”This is where the real change was made, because this tax was levied at a rate of 10 percent before Monday.”

Casino-Declared Revenue:

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The move to amend the gambling tax legislation is seemingly driven by the ‘government’s lack of a reliable regulatory device to determine the revenues generated by casinos in the region precisely. The equal tax rates were applied for gaming income and gaming services, but the government, according to Sahali, had to accept the revenue levels declared by casinos on an ”as-is” basis.

”However, ‘ Sahali reportedly continued, ‘the government also knows, and casinos are openly saying, that they earn much more in profits and gross income than they declare. For this reason, the government thinks that by halving the rate of its gaming services tax, casinos will have to report twice the gross income to pay the same amount of tax, thus increasing the amount of money recorded,” Cyprus Mail reports.

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Overall Gaming Tax Reduction:

The same source reports that Sahali nevertheless considers the idea far from being ”compatible with reality.” The commissioner reportedly added:“Currently, 14 of the 31 active casinos pay more taxes than the minimum tax rate they can pay. Some even pay four times more tax than the minimum. Therefore, since the tax rate has been cut in half, the amount of tax paid by 14 taxes will also be cut in half.”

Cutting Rates in Half:

According to the commissioner, the simultaneous 17% increase on the income side and the 5% reduction on the service side are set to leverage casino revenues and distribute lower tax revenue than before. ”The tax paid by casinos which pay more taxes than the minimum will now be less than it was before the law was changed,” Sahali said. As reported by Cyprus Mail, these claims were disputed by ‘finance minister’ Ozdemir Berova, who referred to the opposed party representatives as “masters of distortion.”

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