Confusing Spanish Tax Regulations Put Off Professional Players

Spains recently-opened poker market lacking pros

Unclear definition of the Spanish tax liabilities could be a reason why professional players keep steering away from the freshly opened internet poker tables in this European country, website Pokerfuse claims in its recently published article.

According to the president of Spanish gaming trade association Jdigital, Sacha Michaud, ldquo;professionals and high-value customersrdquo; are avoiding Spanish websites due to income tax uncertainty and confusion after the market opening just three weeks ago, the web-article reports.

As per Michaud, concerns are being raised over the national tax regime, which, so it seems, requires Spanish players to pay income tax on winnings without deducting losses. Michaud compared the total number of active cash players in Spain with French and Italian markets which are more than double in size, concluding that Spanish cash game traffic is rather low.

The Pokerstars website holds the biggest market share at around 70%, with 888Poker maintaining 25% of the rest of the market.

Although there was not much effort from the authorities to enforce the tax system on poker players in the past, the news that online player data is being collected on the newly regulated websites and made available to the regulator tax perspective sounds sobering from the tax-perspective, especially in view of the unfair system that does not allow deduction of losses.

Steve Day, Pokerstars poker room manager, said that Spanish licensees are required to send regular information to their data vaults in Spain which can be accessed by the Spanish gaming regulator, Pokerfuse reports.

ldquo;The data sent to our data vault in Spain is not summarized to provide per player gambling winnings but this information could be calculated from the data provided. We do not actively provide any information in respect to per player gambling winnings to the Spanish tax authorities,rdquo; Day said.

Pokerfuse conveyed Days statement that his company would be obligated to provide information about a specific player in connection with a tax audit or tax investigation should he receive the request form the Spanish authorities.

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