German municipalities now unable to tax betting shops
The German supreme court for administrative matters, the Federal Administrative Court, has ruled that municipalities will no longer be able to levy a betting shop tax.
A lawsuit had been originally brought about by the bookmakers that operated betting shops in the German city of Dortmund. Since 2014, the city had been levying a municipal tax based on the dimensions of the physical area of the betting shop – which was defined as areas where bets were processed and monitored. The tax was designed to be passed directly onto consumers.
However, in 2017 the Federal Administrative Court ruled that the tax could not be based on the area of the shop, leading to the city rewriting the statute as a 3% stake tax – this was in addition to the federally imposed 5% stake tax for sports betting.
Following this, the Münster Higher Administrative Court allowed an appeal about whether this tax by multiple levels of government was inadmissible due to similarities with taxes imposed under the Lottery A..