Czech Gambling Group Votes With Its Wallet Over Tax Hikes

Synot Tip cancels most sports sponsorship and advertising activity in protest at sudden tax increases

The Czech government's sudden decision to raise gambling taxes by between 3 and 8 percent has prompted local gambling operator Synot Tip to announce that it is withdrawing from most of its sport sponsorship and advertising activities in protest.
The government's hike – the second in the last four years – increases taxes that were once based on an across-the-board rate of 20 percent to 23 percent on lotteries and sports betting and an operator-discouraging 28 percent on slot gambling machine activity.
Synot Tip director Neofytos Neofytou told local media that the tax increases would cost his company dearly, making it impossible for it to continue its sponsorship activities.
The withdrawal is likely to affect the football Czech First League, the AC Sparta football club in Prague, FK Jablonec and CEZ Basketball Nymburk.
Neofytou was backed by Ivo Valenta, the chairman of his Cyprus-based parent company WCV World Capital Ventures Limited, who observed that following the tax hike foreign companies could not subsidise business in the Czech Republic, and would instead deploy their resources to more company-friendly countries like Latvia, Romania and Slovakia.

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