German slot players shunning the new gambling tax?

May 10, 2014
While replying to this thread, I was curious how things were going with the updated gambling tax in Germany.

It took a bit of effort to find the data source, but have pulled out the numbers for the past 7-8 quarters and they make for pretty grim reading... although of little surprise to anybody. As always, errors are my own.

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(Germany Federal Ministry of Finance)

For each quarter, look under Rennwett- und Lotteriesteuer (Race Betting and Lottery Tax) and then subsection virtuelle Automatensteuer (Virtual Vending Machine Tax, which appears to be their definition of slot machines) - the tables run across 4 pages so look for the total numbers (Bundesgebiet)

PeriodRennwett- und Lotteriesteuer (Total)virtuelle Automatensteuer (Slots)
Q2 2023€614.593m€68.517m
Q1 2023€666.105m€80.128m
Q4 2022€610.925m€78.774m
Q3 2022€596.133m€95.464m
Q2 2022€661.034m€114.777m
Q1 2022€701.378m€140.683m
Q4 2021€700.319m€156.849m
Q3 2021€516.004m€32.726m*

* Q3 2021 was a transition period, most operators had to be compliant by October 2021. Included for reference but not particularly useful in this context.

So if we take Q4 2021 as a baseline:
  • double-digit quarter-on-quarter declines have been observed in five of the six quarters - Q1 2023 being the outlier at a modest +1.7%
  • the first year-on-year numbers are horrendous, with drops approaching 50% between Q4 2021 and Q4 2022
  • even without the honeymoon of the first two quarters, Q2 2023 is 40% down on Q2 2022, and 28% down on Q3 2022.
Excluding slots from the total, the remaining take has been fairly steady (€483m, €543m, €561m, €546m, €501m, €532m, €586m and €546m) - so at least for now it's not an industry-wide problem, but I can imagine other sectors like poker will start to struggle over time - a 5.3% tax on all wagers starts to erode bankrolls very quickly!

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