- Codere’s legal battle vs. the SHCP has reached the Supreme Court in Mexico
- The dispute stems from Codere’s alleged MEX1.2 billion tax liability for the year 2008
- It marks the first time that Mexico’s Supreme Court has intervened in disputes involving gambling taxes
Spanish gambling group Codere has taken to Mexico’s Supreme Court its ongoing tax dispute with the country’s Ministry of Finance and Public Funds (SHCP).
The SHCP claims that Codere is obliged to pay MEX 1.2 billion (approximately €300 million) in taxes and surcharges to the Mexican government for the year 2008.
However, the company argues it was exempt from such tax liabilities during that period as it was granted an “amparo” by the Mexican Federal Court of Administrative Justice (TFJA).
Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (SAT) initially determined Codere’s tax obligation to be MEX560 million, but following a reassessment, the figure has now gone up to MEX1.2 billion, and the SHCP has been pursuing the company to force it to pay that amount. Codere has fought back by initiating a nullity trial but it upheld SAT’s resolution.
The company then appealed the case to the Supreme Court, questioning the legality of certain sections of the Federal Law of Administrative Procedure. The court’s preliminary judgment favored Codere by three votes to two.
The Supreme Court will continue to review the appeals presented by Codere and the SHCP and its final ruling will determine whether or not Codere should pay the alleged MEX1.2 billion tax liability. This marks the first time that the country’s highest court has taken up a dispute concerning gambling taxes. The case will set a precedent for how Mexico’s tax authorities deal with multinational companies.
Unfavorable Ruling Would Affect Codere’s Finances
Codere is licensed to operate dozens of gaming arcades and bingo halls throughout Mexico and is also operating in other Latin American markets such as Colombia, Uruguay, Panama and Argentina. Based in Spain, the company is also active in Italy.
In 2022, Codere managed to bring down its operating losses to €320 million, mainly thanks to its consolidation efforts in 2021 which enabled the merging of its Codere Online unit with SPAC vehicle DD3 Acquisition Corp.
For its 2023 year-to-date trading, the company saw its operating losses jump by 120% to €233 million due to impairment charges for alleged regulatory violations of its gambling subsidiaries in Argentina and Mexico.
Should Codere lose its Supreme Court appeal in Mexico, it would deal another huge blow to its finances.