Gambling Tax & Gambling Laws pr. Country

Welcome to our guide on gambling laws and gambling taxes. The purpose of this guide is to give you an easy way to quickly find updated information on the subject of online gambling laws pr. country, and whether or not you have to pay taxes on your winnings.

The guide also includes additional information, such as regulatory bodies, licensing, advertising, regulation, complaints and dispute settlements + much more. Feel free to continue reading on topics of interest by clicking on the links included in the content. 

This guide is for you who wants to know if

  • it's legally allowed to gamble online in your country of residence
  • if any winnings of yours stemming from online gambling related activities are subject to taxation

Simply select your country of residence from the list below, and read up on its gambling laws and gambling taxes. 

Countries included in this guide (updated on a weekly basis):

  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • UK

Coming soon: Germany, The Netherlands and more. 

Gambling in Canada

Gambling and Tax Laws Canada

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 thought, the service has to have a permit/license issued by a provincial government. 

Tax on Gambling for Canadian Residents

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.

Gambling Laws in Canada

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.

Gambling 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.

Tax on Gambling for Danish Residents

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 Laws in Denmark

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.

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 in Finland

Finland Gambling Tax and Gambling Laws Featured Image

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.

Tax on Gambling for Finnish Residents

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.

Gambling Laws in Finland

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.

Gambling in Norway

Norway Gambling Tax and Gambling Laws Featured Image

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.

Tax on Gambling for Norwegian Residents

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

Gambling Laws in Norway

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 in Sweden

Sweden Gambling Tax and Gambling Laws Featured Image

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. 

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.

Sweden Gambling Tax

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

Sweden Gambling Laws

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.

  • 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

Gambling in the UK

UK Gambling Tax and Gambling Laws Featured Image

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 Tax

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.

UK Gambling Laws

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
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