Czech Lottery Owner Sazka Asks EU to Probe Gambling Tax


(Bloomberg) --

Sazka Group AS has urged the European Commission to investigate a Czech tax on lotteries that it says unfairly grants a state subsidy to other gambling services.

Sazka, owned by Czech billionaire Karel Komarek, said in a statement that it’s asked the EU’s state aid unit to rule against a 35% tax on lotteries introduced in January, which it says puts betting and casino games that pay 23% in a more favorable financial position.

The Brussels-based commission said it will assess Sazka’s complaint.

The Czech finance ministry said in a statement that the different tax treatment isn’t discriminatory or an illegal form of public support because different gambling services don’t directly compete. EU governments also have the right to set different rates for each type of tax, including selectively, it added.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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