bwin.party Readies €33 Million Spanish Tax Bill
bwin.party has announced they will hand €33 million in back-taxes over to Spanish authorities in order to clear the way for receiving an online gaming licensed in the country’s newly regulated market.
Online gaming regulation in Spain has left iGaming companies scrambling to settle tax payments after the country informed companies hoping to operate in the new market that they owe back-taxes starting from 2008. The tax bill has been an unexpected burden on companies vying for a license in Spain’s regulated gaming market which is set to open June 1st.
Spain is citing two laws, one from 1966 and one from 1977, for holding companies accountable for this tax burden. The laws had previously applied to offline gaming activities.
In accepting its liability for these tax debts, bwin.party will make a payment to Spanish authorities of €25.6 million plus an additional €8 million in interest and surcharges. This settlement was lower than the original €60 million debt estimated to be owed by the company.
The tax settlement should enable bwin.party to be among the first to receive a license to operate in the country next month. The Gibraltar-based company enjoys considerable exposure in Spain thanks in part to their sponsorship of La Liga soccer club Real Madrid.
Said bwin.party in a statement, “Having taken these steps, we believe we have now fulfilled all requirements and look forward to receiving our license and entering the Spanish market.”
Shares of bwin.party stock, which trade as BPTY.L on the London Stock Exchange, were up 0.48% at closing today following the announcement.
In related news, Sportingbet, which is said to owe a large tax bill to Spain, issued a statement today confirming they are in talks with the Spanish Ministry of Finance to settle their tab in order to receive a gaming license. Shares of that company (SBT.L) were down 7.08% at closing.