Why Does Gambling Benefit The Sport But Not Addicts?

Why only let sports benefit from the tax revenue from betting on results? Put the money into the prevention of gambling addiction, says Frits van Dam in an opinion piece in Het Parool. And do the same with the tobacco taxes.

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The sport should be able to benefit from the tax revenues from gambling on sports results, say PvdA and VVD. Such a proposal to use tobacco tax for smoking prevention has recently been rejected. Nevertheless, in line with this, the PvdA seems to be heading for a nice bill: let companies that market addictive products themselves pay for the misery their products cause.

There is something strange that the proceeds of gambling tax are used specifically for sports clubs. Because less than a year ago, a similar idea of ​​MP Henk van Gerwen (SP) was rejected when he proposed to use the proceeds from tobacco excise duties for tobacco discouragement. According to State Secretary Martin van Rijn (Public Health), it is not possible to reserve tax revenue in advance for certain expenses. And CDA MP Hanke Bruins Slot received a similar response from the State Secretary to her idea to put fines for non-compliance with the age limit for tobacco sales in a prevention fund. Not legally possible, was the answer: tax monies always flow back to general resources. But with the elections in sight, the coalition is now suddenly enthusiastic about the idea of ​​allowing the tax revenues from online sports betting to flow back to sports. This undoubtedly makes the parties popular with millions of sports voters. The coalition seems to have conveniently forgotten that this is not possible under current tax legislation.

Serious illness
Gambling addiction is a serious illness, just like tobacco addiction. Smokers and gamblers bring in a lot of money. Proportionally, a minimal amount of the income from tobacco tax goes to prevention and treatment: approximately 12 million euros on an excise tax revenue of more than 2 billion. This is nothing at all for gambling tax. A decent government does not want to take advantage of sick citizens but tries to prevent them from getting sick and, once they are sick, to help them as best they can. Tobacco and gambling addicts yield more than enough to free up resources. But the biggest surprise during the parliamentary debate came from the PvdA through Mei Li Vos. She stated: “In the view of the PvdA, people have the freedom to drink, gamble, and smoke, but the State may and must point out the dangers and ensure that people who get into trouble are helped. are paid by the companies that cause these problems. We eagerly await when the PvdA comes up with a bill to make the addictive industries pay for the misery they cause. The sector can take an example from environmental legislation: it stipulates that the polluter pays.