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HMRC to implement new tax regulations fo...

HMRC to implement new tax regulations for free bets

Published on December 07, 2016

UK online gambling operators are about to face some changes as the tax authority is amending the rules regarding freeplays, free bets and discounted betting.

The new regulation is due to come into effect on August 1, 2017. The changes will apply to remote gambling operators liable to account for Remote Gaming Duty, such as gaming over the internet, telephone, by television, radio or any other electronic communications.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) explained that when a customer places a bet for free, or at a reduced rate, the operator will then, in certain circumstances, be required to account for duty on the amount that the consumer would have paid had the offer not been in place.

The other change will affect the „prizes“ as gambling operators will not be able to use the value of freeplays provided as prizes to reduce their dutiable profit.
According to the HMRC, the new changes would help to generate an additional £45 million in tax revenue during the 2017-2018 financial year.

HMRC released a statement confirming the changes: “This measure is intended to bring the tax treatment of freeplays for remote gaming more into line with the treatment for free bets under GBD.

“This will contribute to sustainable government finances by broadening the Gambling Tax base.

“This measure was announced at Budget 2016 and was the subject of a technical consultation which ran between August 9 and October 17, 2016.

“The costing includes a behavioural effect to account for a change in the marketing strategy of affected operators as well as the potential for firms finding ways to mitigate the impacts of the measure.

“The impact on individuals and households in the UK is expected to be negligible as this measure is not expected to have a significant impact on the availability, price and payouts of remote gambling.”