Holland Casino fears for future

State-owned Holland Casino, the only company licensed to operate casinos in the country, said on Friday that it fears for its future if the cabinet goes ahead with plans to dramatically increase the tax levied on fruit machines, news agency ANP reported.

The cabinet wants to raise the 16% BTW currently creamed off the machines to the 40.85% charged on games of chance. According to Holland Casino the tax hike would threaten the continuity of the company and turn an annual profit of €80-90m into a loss of tens of millions, said a spokeswoman. The company valuation of between €1-1.5bn would simply evaporate.
Holland Casino said that the tax hike would also jeopardise the measures taken to support gambling addicts. Such measures cost the profitable company €100m a year, but may be unsustainable for a loss-maker, said the spokeswoman.
The cabinet plans to use the money raised by the extra tax to pay for free text books in secondary schools, the Telegraaf reported.

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