European Lotteries criticizes taxation on lottery winnings, urges governments to reconsider

June 10, 2024
European Lotteries criticizes taxation on lottery winnings, urges governments to reconsider

The European Lotteries has expressed disapproval of governments taxing lottery wins and slapping levies on the gaming industry.

European Lotteries Head of Legal, Phillipe Vlaemminck, speaking to the B&FT during a training programme on responsible gaming hosted by the National Lottery Authority (NLA) in said: “Lottery already touches society in many positive ways, and as such it is important for some governments to relook at taxing the industry”.

He argued that people want to play, and they want to ensure the small amounts which are won do not attract taxes.

Described as a game of chance that benefits society, Vlaemminck emphasised that it is very unnecessary for governments to tax winnings on lottery, adding: “That is the standard in many places such as the rest of Europe, the Americas and Asia which are tax free for winnings because the whole profit is given back to society”.

The (GRA) currently collects a 10 percent withholding tax on all lottery winnings as income from lottery operations, and they are also subject to a tax rate of 20 percent on Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR).

Vlaemminck pointed out that when players lose, it is society that benefits through developmental projects; and lottery only offers opportunity for people to dream, thus when they lose, society wins.

He however said Ghana operates a very dynamic lottery in Africa and touts the NLA as a leading gaming operator on the continent.

The European Lotteries noted that the NLA has shown deepened commitment and interest in what is happening at the world level in the industry, a phenomenon which enhances knowledge-sharing and makes the Authority a responsible gaming operator.

Speaking at the training, Director-General of NLA, Sammi Awuku, said the programme is key in helping the Authority to track and clamp down on illegal lottery strategies in the system.

Mr. Awuku explained that the training, which is a certificated-programme, will help the lotto marketing companies and private lotto operators to understand the negative impacts of illegal lotto operations on their own revenues and how they can assist the NLA in curbing the menace.

He said the NLA is ready to partner the European Lotteries in any meaningful way, including adopting the usage of AI and technology in the lottery industry.

At the training, sessions were held on responsible gaming, fighting illegal lottery operations, anti-money laundering and the use of new technologies in gaming.

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