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Mexico – Chihuahua raises gaming tax to promote tourism

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The Governor of the Mexican state of Chihuahua Javier Corral Jurado has announced that there will be two new taxes applicable to casinos and bookmakers in the region standing at six per cent and three per cent.

Combined the new taxes are expected to raise around $130m ($US6.9m) during 2018. The new initiative was delivered to the State Congress as part of the Income and Budget Expenditures Act for 2018.

The two new taxes will affect both casinos and players. The first will impose a 3 per cent tax on player winnings, which would be retained by gaming establishments in addition to the commission that these establishments already charge. Meanwhile the 6 per cent tax will be applied on income generated by casinos and bookmakers. Governor Javier Corral Jurado said that the new tax was a way of “exploring new income alternatives, without undermining the Chihuahuan economy.”

According to the modification provided for the Tax Code for the State of Chihuahua, the Ministry of Finance will allocate 50 per cent of additional gaming tax revenue for promoting tourism while the rest will be used for the construction of tourist infrastructure. The state is also seeking to gain an additional $120m ($US6.4m) via a new state lottery which could be launched next April.

The Governor pointed out that there had already been “a remarkable national movement in the gaming and betting industry” on a state wide level. He also said that the new taxes are for both bookmakers and casinos throughout the state and justified the new taxes on the basis that they these establishments should contribute more to state coffers. Meanwhile, the law also seeks to strike a balance between raising more income for the state while heightening awareness of problem gambling.

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