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Uruguay – Uruguay’s Senate passes bill to raise taxes on prizes

By - 21 September 2017

With six votes against and thirty votes in favour the Uruguayan Senate has raised taxes on gaming.

The new laws were passed by the Lower House in August and now need to go to the Executive branch for final approval.

The new gaming taxes are part of a much larger Accountability Law which was put forward by the Executive branch and aims to put into practice regulations regarding fiscal transparency and accountability laws. The government needs to balance the federal budget and raise around US$200m in order to meet its current obligations to retirees, the armed forces, schools as well as raise additional money for other state intuitions such as hospitals. As well as increasing gaming taxes the new law also raises fees on imports.

In a heated debate senator from the Partido Colorado party Pedro Bordaberry accused the governing party Frente Amplio of “lying” when it promised that no other taxes will be applied.

The new law will add an additional tax on individuals obtaining prizes from games offered by Banco de Quinielas and other games. Banco de Quinielas is licensed by the government and is a private company that administers Uruguay’s lotteries under the control of the government agency, The National Directorate of Lotteries and Quinielas. The tax on prizes related to gaming is aimed at raising $500m (around US$17.3m).

According to the latest statistics released by the board Lottery and Quinela betting is on the rise and increased by as much as 15 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014 reaching US$387.3m. The most popular game was Quinela (pools betting) with revenues standing at US$154m.

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