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Tax dispute leads to Betfair withdrawal from Germany

12th November 2012 / lee

Europe’s largest economy, Germany, has seen the withdrawal of betting exchange BetFair because of a tax dispute. The popular betting platform has withdrawn its exchange from the country because of the high levy of a 5% turnover tax which has to be paid, which BetFair state, makes their main product unviable in the country. BetFair is not the only British listed gambling company to cite the German tax issue as a problem from them. The new levy was introduced on stakes placed on sports event from July of 2012.

BetFair argue that they should not be eligible to pay the tax, because they are not a bookmaker holding stakes. Instead their exchange allows punters to bet directly against one another and BetFair simply take a commission from the transaction winnings. BetFair, who launched 12 years ago have pulled back from Germany, which is a relatively small part of their operations anyway. Total trading from Germany amounted to just around four per cent of BetFair’s core revenue over the last financial year.

BetFair said: “The company is disappointed that to date the tax authorities have not been able to agree to an interpretation of the law that would allow Betfair to continue to offer the exchange product. Consequently, Betfair has decided to withdraw its exchange product from the German market.” BetFair do remained licensed in Spain and Italy and have also developed a Swedish language website as well, pushing advertising in the Scandinavian country.

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