Betting in Malta will be exempted from Value Added Tax (VAT) in 2018, with no VAT imposed on bets and wagers, including the services of bookmakers and betting exchanges, and “equivalent entities” starting January 1.
Under the new Value Added Tax Act, published in the Government Gazette last week, bets on actual and virtual sports events, lotteries, competitions, performance of an index, and even other phenomenon, will also be exempted from the tax.
The VAT exemption under the new tax regime does not include bets on the outcome of casino table games, including blackjack, roulette, poker, or any other casino-style game of chance.
Any gambling services provided through the use of remote technology would still pay the VAT, the government added.
Government lotto and lotteries are currently exempted from the tax.
The Value Added Tax Act was enacted in order to keep up with the Council of Europe directive on the common system of VAT. According to the Council of Europe’s directive, a EU State may exempt betting, lotteries and other forms of gambling subject from VAT although such measures are still subject “to the conditions and limitations laid down by each Member State.”
It is not clear how the new policy will affect the government’s finances. Record shows that collected VAT makes up 7 per cent of Malta’s annual gross domestic product, with the government earning more than €700 million worth of VAT last year.
Malta’s gaming industry accounted for over 12 per cent of the nation’s economy in the first half of 2017.