Gambling Law

Auntumn Statement Proposes Changes to Gambling Taxes

The consultation raises the possibility of increasing general betting and pool betting duty to match remote gaming duty.

Auntumn Statement Hints at Changes to Remote Gambling Tax
Auntumn Statement Hints at Changes to Remote Gambling Tax

In the autumn statement, the government hinted that the charges on both general betting and pool betting may be hiked.

The paper that followed Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt's presentation in the House of Commons on Wednesday discloses that the government is considering how to approach remote gambling, which might be detrimental to the Tote and British racing more broadly.

It's also bad news for the gambling business, which is already dealing with the fallout from the government's gaming white paper, which was released in April.

The autumn statement document said the government "will consult shortly on proposals to bring remote gambling (meaning gambling offered over the internet, telephone, TV and radio) into a single tax, rather than taxing it through a three-tax structure".

There are now three forms of gambling taxes: remote gaming tax, general betting tax, and pool betting tax. 

Since April 2019, a tax of 21% of an operator's income from UK punters has been levied on remote gambling, which is defined as playing a game of chance for a reward.

However, general betting duty is imposed at a rate of 15% on general or pool bets on horse or dog racing, whether in betting shops or online, spread bets, and exchange bets.

Pool betting duty, which is levied on bookmakers' revenues from bets that are not at fixed odds or on horse or dog racing, is similarly set at 15%.

The consultation raises the possibility of increasing general betting and pool betting duty to match remote gaming duty.

The consultation appears to be limited to remote gambling, which appears to be excellent news for betting shops and, of course, bookies.

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