Bwin.party Offers €33 Million To Spain In Back TaxesMay 21, 2012 2:42 pm
Spain has delayed opening up its online poker market for several months, with the latest fly in the ointment coming after the government announced that many of the companies who had applied for operating licences would now be required to pay millions of euros in retrospective taxes.
At the time the story broke it was speculated that PokerStars’ bill could be in excess of €200 million, while bwin.party’s might have to pay around €60 million. A week on and it would appear bwin.party has indicated it was willing to meet payment in order to gain access to the lucrative Spanish market, although not quite at the same levels envisaged. As a bwin.party statement announced today:
“..together with a number of other operators we have today completed a tax self-assessment in accordance with the Spanish Tax Authority’s requirements and as a result are making a payment of €25.6m plus surcharges and interest of up to €8m.”
The €33.6 million bill is to cover four years of taxes on Spanish customers bwin.party accepted pre-regulation with the back taxes being interpreted according to two Spanish laws dating back to 1966 and 1977. After accepting liability, the world’s biggest listed online gaming business then commented:
“Having taken these steps, we believe we have now fulfilled all requirements and look forward to receiving our licence and entering the Spanish market.”
Another gaming company hoping to re-enter Spain is Sportingbet, who were operating in the country between January 2009 and May 2011. Earlier this year, however, it was ordered to shut its website but is now in discussions with the Spanish Ministry of Finance about a potential settlement which may amount to more than €20 million.
The Spanish government is expected to grant its online gaming licenses on June
1st and has already received around 60 applications from some of the biggest international operators including Bet365, Betfair, Ladbrokes, 888, William Hill and Paddy Power.