Germany’s 5 percent turnover tax on sports betting stakes has angered several U.K. gaming operators.
The latest company to withdraw from Europe’s largest economy is the Betfair Group, whose sports betting exchange in Germany, along with poker, casino and traditional fixed-odds betting, accounted for only 4 percent of the company’s core revenue last year.
Betfair has been arguing with the German government on the steep tax, which went into effect in July. Betfair allows gamblers to bet against each other rather than the bookmaker, a system that the company said should exempt it from paying the sports tax. Betfair said that Germany’s new tax rate would make its exchange model “unviable.”
“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,” Betfair said in a statement. “Consequently, Betfair has decided to withdraw its exchange product from the German market.”
Betfair is not the only company running into regulatory trouble in continental Europe. Bwin.party, the world’s largest online gaming group, reported that its third-quarter net revenue was down 10 percent compared with last year because of the German tax. Germany remains bwin.party’s largest single market.
Britain’s largest bookmaker, William Hill, has also cut off gambling services in the German market.