As Spain struggles to get a hold of it’s faltering economy it seems to be coming up with more outlandish ideas to fill it’s coffers.
As Spain’s regulators prepare to issue the first official gaming licences to operate gaming websites in Spain, Madrid has been contacting all foreign companies that have previously had Spanish customers, informing them of it’s intention to back date two taxes originating from the late 1960s and 1970s.
The back-dated tax demands have sparked anger among UK gaming companies. One senior source slammed the decision as a “blatant austerity tax grab”, and this opinion seems to be echoed by others across the sector.
Bwin.party digital said on Monday it had received a bill for 33 million euros from the Spanish Government to pay taxes under two laws that did not previously apply to foreign gambling operators.
Nick Batram, analyst with Peel Hunt, questions the legality of Spain’s demands but said he expected more UK-listed companies to pay up simply to secure a licence.
“The legality of this move looks uncertain, but we believe that most operators will pay now and potentially complain later,” Mr Batram said.
Other major operators including Sportingbet, 888 Holdings and Betfair said are currently in “negotiations” with Spanish tax authorities.
I wonder… will those that pay get a licence and those that don’t, wont? Spain – this is disgraceful behaviour.