Changes to Gambling Tax
From 1 December 2014, the rules for General Betting Duty, Pool Betting Duty and Remote Gaming Duty will change, requiring gambling operators to pay duty on betting, pool betting and remote gaming activities carried out by customers who usually live in the UK, regardless of where those operators are based.
Currently, gambling activities are taxed on a ‘place of supply basis’, meaning that if a gaming operator supplies gambling from the UK, it must pay tax on all its gross gambling profits, while operators supplying UK customers from outside the UK are not required to pay gambling taxes.
The changes state that duties will be taxed from the ‘place of consumption’, which means that businesses who offer remote gambling services to a person in the UK will become liable to one of more of the above taxes, regardless of which country they are based in. UK based operators who supply remote gambling to customers who do not live in the UK will no longer be liable to the taxes on those transactions.
In addition to the changes in duty, gambling operators will be required to ask their customers whether or not they usually live in the UK, and must collect and verify this data.
In a statement, the deputy director of gambling taxes at HMRC, Sally Beggs said “[The new rules] will provide a level playing field so that all gambling by UK consumers is subject to UK tax”.
Who will be affected?
The new rules will affect the remote gambling industry who offer remote betting and gaming to UK consumers from outside the UK and UK land-based betting business such as high street betting shops.
Land-based gaming sector businesses such as casinos and bingo halls will not be affected by the changes unless they offer remote betting or gaming.
HMRC has launched an online system for registering for these taxes and for making returns.
Gambling operators that are already registered for tax in the UK will be automatically registered for the new regime. Gambling operators based outside the UK who are not already registered for UK tax will have to proactively register for the new tax regime with HMRC. Businesses who fail to do so face unlimited fines or the loss of their licence to operate in Great Britain.
For more information on how to register, follow this link to HMRC’s registration guide.