During an extraordinary session that continues Tuesday morning, the Riigikogu passed a law to increase state budget revenues by increasing tax rates on various forms of gambling. The law will be tied on the vote of confidence.
58 Riigikogu members supported the adoption of the government-initiated Act amending the Gambling Tax Act (146 SE), while 22 members voted against it. Before the second reading, the government tied the measure to a vote of confidence, so its passage required only two readings.
According to the law, the current tax rate of 5 percent on online betting and lotteries will increase to 6 percent in 2024 and 7 percent in 2026. The tax rate on lotteries and commercial lotteries will increase from 18 to 22 percent beginning in 2024, the tax rate on gambling tables will increase from €1,278.23 to €1,406, and the tax rate on slot machines will be rounded from €31.95 to €32. According to the explanatory memorandum, the increase in rates is intended to have minimal effect on market operators and will not necessitate a fundamental restructuring of the gambling industry.
The bill passed its first reading in the Riigikogu on May 17, with 203 amendments submitted by the deadline. The government decided on June 8 to tie a vote of confidence to the adoption of the measure prior to the second reading, thereby assuming the responsibilities of the lead committee. The proposed amendments to the government's measure of confidence will not be put to a vote.
According to the agenda, the Riigikogu will proceed with the second and third readings of the bills. The extraordinary session continues until all agenda items have been addressed.
Editor: Mait Ots, Kristina Kersa