bwin.party Settles Up Spain Back-Tax, Readies for June 1
PartyPoker should be one of the first to receive a license in Spain next month as bwin.party has agreed to pay €31m in back taxes to the Spanish Tax Authority.
According to the financial report published by bwin.party Monday, the €31m figure—€25.6m in tax payments and €8m in interest and surcharges—is based on a self-assessment. It is below the reported €60m that was originally requested.
As pokerfuse reported last week, last minute demands from the Spanish tax man just weeks before the launch date raised fresh doubts over which operators would receive a license.
The demand for four years in tax payments from all operators who offered services to Spanish customers was justified by citing two half-century old laws that pertain to brick and mortar gaming.
According to the bwin.party report, the payment was made “together with a number of other operators.” It is understood that Sportingbet, under the Spanish brand Miapuesta, and online poker giant PokerStars both face big tax bills.
Sportingbet issued a statement today stating only that discussions with the Ministry of Finance were ongoing.
The report continues: “The payment is intended to secure the Group’s position in Spain in the context of its application for eGaming licences.” The first licenses are expected on June 1. “Having taken these steps, we believe we have now fulfilled all requirements and look forward to receiving our licence and entering the Spanish market.”
The agreement to pay up comes despite an industry report last week that bwin.party co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger was quoted as saying that Spain has “no claim to ask for four years of back taxes.”
bwin.party owns the PartyGaming brand along with bwin, currently a poker skin on the Ongame network, which is expected to be transitioned to the PartyPoker network by the end of the year. bwin.party sold the network to Shuffle Master back in February.