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Market update — New York poker legislation, Dutch gambling taxes and more

A new year means always a resolutions' list, but also a time to review the results of the previous year and reap the rewards of hard work. USA, Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden are facing this reality in their own way, let's see.

Bill S18 introduced in the New York Senate to legalize online poker

A new poker bill presented in the New York Senate. Bill S18, introduced by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. includes a beneficial poker regulation both for players and the state. The text includes a one-time license fee of $10MUSD and a 15% GGR (Gross Gaming Revenue) tax, and only current operators with a valid gambling license will be able to apply for a poker one. The New York State Gaming Commission will be in charge of approving the new licenses.

The bill includes a "bad-operator" clause which strictly bans current gambling operators and even extends this ban to companies that may buy these firms in the future.

Let's not forget that this is not the first poker law introduced in the New York Senate; since 2013 several bills have been presented but none have been approved.

Dutch poker players celebrate a tax-cut on PokerStars.eu

Who doesn't love a tax cut? Well, a Dutch Court of Appeals ruled on December 31 that profits of PokerStars.eu players are not subject to tax in the country.

The Dutch tax office (Belastingdienst) was charging a 29% tax to all the winnings on PokerStars.eu, but in 2018 a group of players filed a complaint backed on the fact that PokerStars operated with a license from Malta, a member state of the EU and therefore the profits were not subject to the tax. The Dutch authorities' argument was that Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStars is located in the Isle of Man, outside of the EU and consequently subject to tax; finally, the operating license was more important for the court.

The Belastingdienst can still appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Netherlands, but in case the decision remains, millions of euros will have to be returned to the players.

Portugal online gambling revenue for Q3 2018

€38.5 million is the magic number that Portugal revealed as gambling revenue for the third quarter of 2018. Compared to the same period in 2017, the revenue has increased by over €9 million. PokerStars it's currently the only legal poker operator in Portugal, its revenue reaches €19M, €6M more compared to 2017 same period.

Almost 60% of the revenue comes from slots, and poker corresponds only to 17% (12% cash games and 5% tournaments). Compared to brick-and-mortar casinos, these last one's profits are twice bigger than online revenue as the results show €87.5M in Q3 2018.

Sweden new gambling market goes live

In 2018, we commented about the new Sweden gambling regulation which is taking place in 2019. Several poker rooms are now legally operating in the country (partypoker, PokerStars), and now not only the poker rooms are reporting good results, but also the self-exclusion program (Spelpaus.se) which in only 10 days have got over 100,000 registrations.

Let's remind that one of the requirements of Swedish gambling law was to introduce a new self-exclusion program where the players could register to avoid playing and receiving advertising. Sweden population is almost 10M people, so 1% of the total population is registered on Spelpaus.se.

Some players have reported faults in the program, and even are saying that they are still welcome to play on some sites after self-excluding.

Conclusion

As we said before, this year will be marked for new attempts of regulating online gambling. The struggle will continue for over the years to come, and the only thing that matters to the players is to safely play from their places, although as we saw in the Spanish example; if the regulation is too hard, the players will just migrate and become exPat poker players.

Stay tuned on our Telegram channel for more EV+ news.

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