Gambling tax varies from one country to another but there are countries in which winnings from gambling – online casinos or land-based casinos – are not taxed, the so called gambling tax free countries. Even in countries where gambling is legal and there are rules and regulations for it. There are in general two scenarios which would of course depend on the jurisdiction that you are playing from. Sometimes it is the casinos, gaming and betting establishments that are obliged by law to pay tax on their profits, but sometimes the individuals are the ones to pay a tax on their winnings.
The focus of this article is to lay out countries in which player’s are not required to pay taxes on their gambling winnings, so that they could get the most out of their gaming experience tax free. In brief, the topic is to lay out a list gambling tax free countries. This means not paying part of your hard earned winnings to the taxman.
How do Gambling taxes look around the world:
As previously mentioned, rules and regulations are different from one country to another. Sometimes the casinos, gaming and betting establishments are obliged by law to pay tax on their profits but sometimes the individuals are the ones to pay a tax on their winnings. In the case of the latter, there are even countries that require taxes to be payed by individuals, if gambling is your profession or your main source of income.
So you have the following categories of how taxation works around the world:
- Casino Pays taxes on their profits but not the individuals; (Gambling Tax Free Countries)
- Individuals Pay taxes on their winnings;
- Individuals pay taxes on their winnings if gambling is the main profession and the main source of income;
Gambling Tax Free Countries:
In this article, we are mainly interested on the first category – Gambling Tax Free Countries – in which case the individuals do not pay taxes on their gambling winnings. This means to help players be aware, if they would be required to pay taxes on their winnings.
Below you will find a list of gambling tax free countries in which you can play and not pay any taxes on your hard earned winnings.
In Austria there is a what some would call a monopoly in the gambling industry. Specifically there is a company that goes by the name Casinos Austria which owns 12 casinos domestically and dozens of other casinos across the world. In the case of Austria it is the casino which is the biggest tax payer in the country.
For you as a player, you would be glad to know that winnings in online casinos are not taxed in Austria. The reason is that it is the responsibility of the casinos to pay for the taxes. If an casino operates online or it is land based it is the casino which is required to pay taxes not the player.
If you are a fan of land based casinos, you would be glad to know that there are 12 casinos in Austria, which are all run by Casinos Austria. The casinos are located in the country’s major cities and tourist destinations such as Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Baden, Bregenz, Velden and Graz.
Gambling in Australia has a long history which dates back to the 1800 century, specifically to the first official horse racing meeting which occurred in 1810 at Hyde Part in Sydney. Following this occasion, the first official Australian lottery occurred in 1881 at the Sydney cap; and registered clubs operated the first legal poker machines in Australia from 1956.
In Australia again it is the casino operator which is required to pay taxes. The gambling tax in Australia does not apply to winnings if these were made via an online casino or a land based casino. Players are not required to pay taxes for winnings derived from their gaming. So if you would be playing at an online casino or a land-based casino, you would be enjoying tax free winnings.
People have been gambling in Belgium since the 1300s, gambling has been legalised since 2002 and online gambling in Belgium has been legal since 2011. There is a limited number of licenses available for gambling companies operating in Belgium. As a sidenote the 2011 Belgian gaming act requires companies providing an online gambling service in the country – i.e online casinos – to possess a license for a physical bring and mortar operation.
Belgium does not enforce taxation on gambling winnings for whether you are playing in an online casino or a land based casinos. Players are not taxed on their winnings but companies have to pay a fee to the government each year. The fee is specifically for the maintenance of their gaming license.
In Bulgaria the history of casinos dates back to 1979 when the first casino in the country was opened. Sad side of this was the Bulgarian citizens could not play in it as it was only meant for tourist. Fortunately this is not the case anymore since the adoption on the Bulgarian Gambling law in 1998. Online casinos were legalised in Bulgarian since 2012 and the first online casinos made an appearance in 2013 and with that a new tax turnover was introduced.
Bulgaria does not charge taxes for online winnings, but instead casino operators are charged a fee for each license and location of operation. So if you are playing at an online casinos from Bulgaria, you would not be required to pay taxes for your winnings.
Gambling has been in Canada since 1400 and since then it has had a turbulent history before becoming legalised. All types of gambling were banned in 1892 and it was until the 1950’s were many forms of gambling in Canada were made legal. Small illegal casinos existed since then in Canada’s history for short periods but the first commercial casino opened in Winnipeg in 1989 which was then followed by the Montreal Casino in 1993. It was only till 1999 that the old rules banning types of gambling was lifted.
Now you can find casinos in all provinces of Canada in which you can gamble. It is important to mention also that more and more gaming in Canada is moving towards online casinos which can be accessed from computers and phones, giving convenience to regular players.
It is worth to mention that in Canada you do not pay taxes on your winnings whether you are playing at a land based casino or an online casinos. So you can rest assured that if you are playing from Canada, you would be getting the most from your gaming experience.
Gambling activities in Czech Republic are widespread and its recognised as the EU country with the most frequent residents that take part in gambling activities. Starting back in the 1956 Sazka SA a casino operator was established in the country and soon became the leader on the market. In 1990’s there was a boom in the country’s gambling industry leading for the appearance of other gambling operators such as Tipsport, Fortune, Synop Tip.
This has mean the expansion of the casino industry and the number of casino venues which exceeds 100 casino venues by now. Accompanied with the expansion of casino venues came the expansion of online casinos and their legalization. Playing at gambling facilities – land based casinos or online casinos – your winnings are not taxed. Instead the operators pay a tax on their profits.
Denmark does not really have such a diverse presence of online casinos in general. In total, there are 6 casinos which are also regulated by the Danish gambling authority. Since 2012 online gambling has also opened its doors to overseas online casino operators. Before this year, the company Danske Spil had a monopoly on Danish online gambling.
When playing at a casino you will not be charged any tax on your winnings but instead the casino operators have to pay a fee of their gross gaming revenue.
Gambling in Finland has a long gambling history and it has only one legal casino which was built in 1991 in Helsinki. Finland has a government monopoly on gambling which is divided in 3 organisations (Ray, Veikkaus Oy and Fintoto). Ray is for gaming, Veikkaus is the Finnish national lottery and Fintoto is for hose racing-specific pari-mutuel betting.
The Finnish government deters its citizens from gambling outside the borders, but there is no legal framework as of now to prevent or act against such activity. When you play at a casino, you are not required to pay any taxes on your winnings but instead it is the casino operators who are required to pay a tax on their net profits. So if you would be playing at an online casino or a land-based casinos you could enjoy tax free winnings.
Gambling in Germany has been present since ancient times. Germans have been gambling since the times when Ancient Romans conquered their territories and it was one of the main pass-time activities of Roman soldiers. One of the oldest casinos was opened in Germany and even women of an background were allowed to play there. No wonder that Germans started gambling as well, more and more through out the years.
It was in 1933 that gambling officially became legal in the country and in 2008 when the interstate gambling treat came into force, all kinds of gambling was forbidden. This lead to the development of more than 70 land-based casinos, which are owned part by the country and part by around 20 private enterprises.
Gambling winnings, whether you are playing online or in a land-based casino are not taxable. Instead casino operators are the ones who are being taxed on their gross gaming revenue. So you are a player do not have to worry about being taxed on your winnings.
Gambling in Hungary as well has a long history dating back to the 1752 when a law establishing country’s monopoly on gambling was introduced. In the 19th century card games and horse racing were becoming popular and the first Fungarian casino was opened – National Casino. Since then 3 new casinos which are the only functioning gambling facilities still operate in the country (Casinon Sopron, Las Vegas Casino, Casino Tropicana).
The first legislation concerning gambling was passed with the Gambling Act of 1991 and monopoly over the industry was claimed by Szerencsejatke Zrt. In 2009, online poker became legal and in 2013 the gambling act was amended so that 11 casino licenses could be granted.
Gambling winnings in Hungary are not taxed whether you are playing at a land based casino or at an online casino. It is the online casino operator, who instead gets taxed on their gross gaming revenue. This assures players that they can get most out of their gaming experience.
Gambling in Itally has one of the longest histories as it dates back to the days of the Roman empire. The first gambling house or otherwise legal land based casino was opened in 1638 in Ridotto, Venice. Gambling was not regulated up until 2006 in Italy following amendments to liberalise the market.
Gambling winnings from either land based or online casinos are tax free in Italy, which means that players can get most out of their gaming experience when playing. Instead it is the casino operators who are being taxed based on their gaming revenues.
In 1922 the lotto act was enacted in Malta for the running of lotto but gambling in Malta has existed long before this date. Maltese were already accustomed to the Italian lotto similarly as many European countries were being introduced to lotto during 17 and 18th century. Today gambling in Malta is regulated by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority which issues licenses to both land based and online casinos. Malta was actually the frist EU member country to regulate online gaming in 2000 and today Malta is house for a big number of casinos – land based and online casinos.
Gambling winnings in malta are tax free and player’s are not taxed on their winnings when playing at a land based or online casino. Instead casinos are required to pay for the license fees and also a percentage on their gross gaming revenue. So if you would play at an online casino or a land-based casino, you would enjoy tax free winnings. If you are visiting Malta, you can find some really great land based casinos to enjoy some gambling. Some of the best casino resorts that you can find in Malta include Casino Malta by Olympic Casino, Oracle casino and Portomaso casino.
Gambling in Romania was very popular in the early 20th century which came to a halt with the country’s inclusion in the Soviet Union from 1945-1989. This period saw all forms of gambling being banned by a repressive communist government. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989 and the government transitioned to a democratic government it paved the ground for gambling to be legalised. In 1990 gambling was declared legal and as a consequence in 1991 the first casino opened its doors just a year later In 1991. For online gambling it was not until 2014 when the authorities paid closer attention to the issue that it was legalised with the requirement that a government license was require in order to operate a casino online.
Gambling winnings in Romania are not taxable so player’s can be sure that they will be getting most out of their gaming experience. The cool part in Romania is that gambling winnings are neither taxed to casino operators. So its pretty cool.
Sweden again has a pretty long history when it comes to gambling. From 1934 till late 2018 gambling in Sweden was monopolised by the state which regulated all activities of gambling houses and players. All this though as changed when the state decided to make Sweden a regulated gambling market. This meant the opening up of their gambling industry to allow private investment which lead the state to establish a regulatory body known as the Swedish Gambling Authority.
Gambling innings in Sweden from online casinos or land based casinos are not taxed so player’s can derive most out of their gaming experience. Taxes in Sweden are instead paid by casino operators base on their gross gaming revenue.
Gambling in the United Kingdom (UK) has a long history which can be traced back to the early civilisation. In the middle ages people were wagering on activities (horse racing and dice and card games) and the earliest gambling legislation goes back to 1190. The first national lottery occurred in 1694 a despite that in the 19th century commercial gambling was limited to lower classes, the gaming act of 1968 allowed commercial casinos for the first time. This led to the gambling of 2005 which brought the formation of UKGC which ensures the oversight of legal gambling activities in UK.
Gambling winnings in UK either in land based casinos or online casinos are not taxed and player’s can get once again most out of their gaming experience. Instead casino operators – land based or online casinos – are taxed on their gaming revenue. You as a player of an online casino or a land-based casino, would be enjoying tax free winnings.
Online Gambling Winnings:
So you might be wondering if you would have to pay taxes on your gambling winnings derived either from an online casino or a land based casino. As a rule of thumb, you can basically say that if you are residing in Europe, UK or Canada most likely you do not have to pay taxes for your winnings. So you would have tax free gambling winnings.
The above described list of tax free gambling countries can even be used as reference and if in doubt, it would also be advisable that you check for any regulations in your jurisdiction. Reason is that regulations might change over time even though regulations change quite slowly in the gambling industry.