Gambling Tax & Gambling Laws pr. Country
The purpose of this guide is to give you an easy way to quickly find updated information on the subject of online gambling laws in your country, and whether or not you have to pay gambling tax on your winnings.
Countries included in this guide (updated on a weekly basis):
- The Netherlands
Gambling in the Netherlands and the legislation surround this practice all falls under the Gambling Act of 1964. It only applies for the state-owned Holland Casino, and does not include remote gambling at all. As a result of not having remote gambling covered in the legislation, it’s not possible to issue any remote gambling license – thus rendering any form of online gambling illegal. It is not however illegal for Dutch residents to gamble anywhere online.
The Gambling Act of 1964 has been modernized as the Dutch Senate approved the draft bill on Remote Gambling on February 19th, 2019. This makes it possible for foreign operators to apply for a Dutch remote / online gambling license. Until it comes into effect some time in 2020, it will still be illegal to offer Dutch residents the option to gamble online but ironically Dutch residents can still legally gamble online.
Dutch players have to pay gambling tax on money won from lotteries in Holland. Dutch players do not have to pay taxes on online games offered within the EU.
All forms of gambling in Canada is legal as long as it is regulated and/or licensed by the government and/or the respective province. If this is not the case, such forms of gambling within the borders of Canada are considered illegal.
Online gambling, on the other hand, is in somewhat of a grey area in terms of legality. It is not illegal to place wagers on online gambling sites for Canadian citizens. To be deemed legal, however, these operators have to have a license owned by a provincial government. In other words, Canadians are allowed to legally gamble online.
As income stemming from gambling is not considered a constant source of income, Canadian’s winnings are not subject to tax. Canadians are also allowed to gamble online, as the state of online gambling is a grey area. Foreign operators are thus allowed to offer their services to Canadian players if outside the borders of Canada. If offered within the borders though, the service has to have a permit/license issued by a provincial government.
Players who are making a professional living could still, however, be subject to tax, and thus has to fill out tax forms with detailed information declaring both losses and winnings.
A Canadian resident is exempt from tax on his / her gambling income if the amount stems from:
- A non-professional source of income.
All forms of gambling in Denmark is regulated by the state-owned regulatory body Spillemyndigheden (Danish Gambling Authority). Gambling operators (both domestic and foreign) targeting Danish consumers need to hold a valid license in order to lawfully do so.
Gambling Laws in Denmark
Gambling in Denmark has always been under a state monopoly via the state-owned company Danske Spil, regulated by its regulatory body Spillemyndigheden. Unlike its Nordic neighbor Norway, however, Denmark loosened up on their monopoly-grip on the first day of 2012, allowing foreign gambling operators to apply for a Danish license, enabling them to accept customs from Danish players.
It is illegal for foreign and domestic operators to target Danish consumers in any way, such as offering payments in DKK-currency, support in Danish, Danish language on site – without a valid license. The Danish Gambling Authority is known to crack down on unlicensed operations swiftly and has a near 100% success rate in shutting down such operations.
Danish players are however allowed to legally gamble online via foreign websites, provided that the website in question does not target the Danish market in any way. Denmark has active measures in place to prevent such incidents, such as ISP-blocking.
Gambling income in Denmark can both be subject of tax, and exempt from tax depending on whether or not the income and/or winnings stems from a Danish Gambling Authority Licensed operator or not.
A Danish resident is exempt from tax on his / her gambling income if the amount stems from:
- A Danish Gambling Authority-licensed operator/company.
Winnings and/or income stemming from any type of operator not holding a valid license from the Danish Gambling Authority falls under the “personal income” category in Denmark. Such income is subject to up to 62% tax, depending on the amount and the total amount of other sources of income.
Gambling in Finland is regulated by the Lotteries Act, and the rules governing such activities are done via a decree by The Ministry of the Interior. Gambling on a national level is supervised by the National Police Board. The only company allowed to offer gambling services and products in Finland is the state-controlled Veikkaus Ltd.
Foreign operators are not allowed to directly market nor offer their services in Finland, but the Finnish Government has not imposed any kind of restrictions on Finnish residents gambling on websites operated by foreign companies.
Finnish residents are legally allowed to gamble online on any foreign website that accepts Finnish players.
With its 70+ years of the state monopoly on gambling in Finland, the Finnish government controls all forms of gambling via the company Veikkaus Ltd. Veikkaus Ltd was formed in 2017 when the country’s three former betting and gambling operators Veikkaus Oy, Fintoto and RAY (Finland’s Slot Machine Association) was merged.
Gambling income falls under the category of the Finnish Income Tax Act, and is thus not taxable provided the winnings aren’t made from events operated by non-EEA country companies.
A Finnish resident is exempt from tax on his / her gambling income if the amount stems from:
- Gambling on legal, state-controlled offline- or online casinos, sports betting, horse betting, and / or lotteries
- A company operating in an EEA country, operated by its respective country’s rules and regulations
All Finnish residents must pay tax on any gambling winnings that are won from companies registered in a non-EEA (European Economic Area) country, or if the “Act on Tax on Lottery Prizes” does not apply to the prize won.
Norway has a state monopoly on all forms of gambling, and is controlled by The Norwegian Gaming Authority (Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet). The only companies allowed to offer gambling services and lotteries in Norway are Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto (horse betting), as well as charitable / humanitarian organisations and lotteries holding a license from the Norwegian Gaming Authority.
The Norwegian gambling laws are based on a totalitarian model that ensures the Government’s state monopoly on all forms of gambling both on land and online. This means that it is illegal for foreign gambling companies to advertise their services to Norwegian citizens, in Norway unless they have an explicit permission to do so.
It is not however illegal for Norwegian citizens to gamble online with foreign casino and betting operators.
The reason for this is that Norway is bound by the EEA (European Economic Area) treaties and agreements. Even though it’s illegal for unlicensed operators to broadcast advertising for gambling in Norway, the EEA-agreement creates a loophole that allows TV-companies to broadcast outside of Norway.
This is however by no means a valid, legal reason for any companies with a EU/EEA-license to advertise and / or offer their services towards citizens of other EU/EEA member states unchallenged
Gambling income falls under the category of “random income”, and is thus a taxable income depending on a number of circumstances.
A Norwegian resident must pay tax on any winnings from competitions, games, lotteries and similar when the value surpasses the amount of 10.000 NOK. This rule applies for most winnings derived from foreign gambling companies.
A Norwegian resident is exempt from tax on his / her gambling income if the amount stems from:
- Norsk Tipping AS
- Games that falls under the “totalisatorspill-loven” (betting act)
- Prizes won in draws held by companies / organisations that have a valid lottery license
- Gambling- and lottery games that are held in a EEA state, similar to those offered legally in Norway, and who are subject to public supervision and regulation
- Publicly held events arranged by mass-media
All gambling in Sweden is controlled by the Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinpektionen / SGA) to ensure legality, safety and reliability. The SGA is split into 3 departments; the Operational Department; the Department of Administrative and Legal affairs; The Communication Department.
It is the operational department who’s responsible for all licensing and compliance related to casino games, restaurant casinos and poker, gaming machines and amusement games, illegal gambling, sportsbetting, horse- and dog betting, national lotteries as well as Bingo and all lotteries and number games under Svenska Spel.
All gambling in Sweden is controlled by Spelinspektionen, under the following laws: Spellag (2018:1138), Spelförordning (2018:1475), Kasinolag (1999:355), Lag (1982:636) om anordnande av visst automatspel, Lotteriförordning (1994:1451), Lag (2017:630) om åtgärder mot penningtvätt och finansiering av terrorism.
Provided being over 18 years or older of age, it is legal for all Swedish residents to gamble online. Gambling on the land based casino Casino Cosmopol is only allowed for patrons over 20 years of age.
Swedish residents are also legally allowed to play on unlicensed casino / betting sides offering real money play, despite the fact that operators are not allowed to advertise towards the Swedish market. However, players in Sweden who do gamble on unlicensed sites might be subject to taxation of wins, and also expose themselves to greater risk as these companies are not regulated by the Swedish Gambling Authority.
- Licensing: Any company offering gambling services to Swedish players must hold a valid Spelinspektionen license
- Advertising: Only Spelinspektionen licensed companies are allowed to advertise their services in Sweden
- Regulation: All companies wanting to enter the Swedish market have to apply for one or more out of 6 different licenses. Companies that have targeted the Swedish market without a valid license are not likely to have a license application approved.
- Gambling Company Taxation: Gambling companies with valid Spelinspektionen license are taxed 18% on gross gaming revenue
There are different rules on the subject of tax in relation to gambling and winnings derived from it in Sweden.
You don’t have to pay income tax when:
- your winnings are derived from SGA-licensed operators
- your winnings are derived from any real money games based in Sweden
You have to pay income tax when:
- your winnings are derived from unlicensed operators targeting the Swedish market
- your winnings are derived from online games not provided in an EEA state (the European Economic Area)
- your winnings are derived from any real money game physically provided outside an EEA state (example; a casino in Las Vegas)
- your winnings are derived from any forms of Pyramid Schemes
The supervision and regulation of all gambling in the UK is done under the Gambling Act 2014 by The Gambling Commission (UKGC) on behalf of the government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The UK market is one of the world’s most rigorously regulated gambling markets in the world, and one of the safest ones for online gamblers.
Provided being over 18 years or older of age, all UK residents are legally allowed to gamble online. Online gamblers are obligated that their customs are done on a UKGC-licensed site, or on a UK Whitelisted Gambling Jurisdiction. Players who feel unfairly treated by a UKGC-licensee can raise their case to 1 of the 11 UKGC-approved ADR’s (Alternative Dispute Resolution).
UK gambling laws falls under the Gambling Act 2014, which controls all forms of gambling and is a new and updated bill of its predecessor 2005 Gambling Act.
- Licensing: Any company offering gambling services to British players must hold a valid UKGC license
- Advertising: Only UKGC licensed companies can promote their services in Britain
- Regulation: New companies must apply for UKGC license and prove active policing on prevention of UK players being given access to their services prior to application. Companies in whitelisted jurisdictions must apply for a transitional licence before being granted a UKGC license
- Gambling Company Taxation: Gambling companies with valid UKGC license are taxed 15% on gross profits
There is no UK gambling tax for British residents. British gamblers are exempt from paying tax on any winnings stemming from betting or gambling online as this source of income is not taxable in the UK.
The Laws and Regulations in Germany have always been a bit of a grey area. Despite the fact online gambling is mostly out-lawed in and hosting an online casino is illegal, many players still enjoyed placing bets and wagering online.
As of the beginning of 2020, a new national regulatory authority on gambling was announced in Germany. For operators, this means they can now offer online casinos and poker to the 16 federal states.
German players winnings are not taxed as of yet, unlike the Casinos and other gambling establishments. In state-owned casinos up to a whopping 80% of the revenue goes directly to the government. Not only that, but operators also have to pay tax and VAT on any slot machines or poker services etc.
German residents are exempt from paying tax on his / her gambling income.