he Colombian Congress passed last week the National Development Plan (PND in Spanish), which includes several taxation changes that will have an impact on the country's gaming industry. The land-based operators which meet all of the connectivity and reliability requirements imposed by Coljuegos–the Colombian gaming regulator– will have to pay a 12% license tax on their gross receipts, less winnings paid to wagerers, calculated on the basis of the total gaming elements authorized by each licensing agreement.
The proposal was submitted by Carlos Abraham Jiménez López, a member of the Senate.
Coljuegos' President Juan B. Pérez Hidalgo, however, believes these amendments will have a negative impact on the country's health system.
"Discussions over this provision date back to the tax reform, when trade associations argued that the current tax structure was detrimental to the gaming industry," Jiménez López said.
The lawmaker argued this measure will, in the short term, reduce funds to the health system by 15% but, in the long-term, it will end up increasing tax collection for the sector. Moreover, he criticized Pérez Hidalgo for "not having spoken in the Congress and with the rest of the speakers," and finally accused him of opposing to the provision as an attempt to retain his post.
Section 49 of the PND also outlines that the gambling licenses under which the price paid by patrons includes the value-added tax, the relevant licensing agreement shall be adjusted in accordance with the increase in such tax rate.