Wednesday October 28, 2015 : CZECHS TO INCREASE GAMBLING TAXES
But where was the minister of finance?
On Tuesday, lawmakers in the Czech Republic lower house gave initial approval to a bill raising the tax on winnings from lotteries, sport betting and slot machines with effect from 2016.
Legislators were told that Czechs spent 138 billion crowns ($5.63 billion) or roughly 3.5 percent of GDP on gambling in 2014, more than half of it on mechanical and video slot machines.
The bill, which passed the first of three readings on Tuesday, would raise the tax on lottery and sport betting winnings from 20 percent to 23 percent, and on slot machines to 28 percent, the Reuters news agency reports.
An additional daily tax on each slot machine would rise to 80 crowns from 55.
The measure is expected to boost tax revenues by 2 billion crowns.
The bill still has to pass two more lower house readings and the upper chamber of parliament before it is presented for signature into law by the president, but given the coalition government's large majority, it seems certain to become law.
Opposition deputies criticised finance minister Andrej Babiš for being absent from the lower house session debating his proposal to increase gambling taxes. Babiš was one of many MPs absent from the Chamber of Deputies on the eve of the state holiday marking the anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia.