Overseas based online gambling operators will be aware that from 1 December 2014 General
Betting Duty, Pool Betting Duty and Remote Gaming Duty in the UK are now taxed on a place of
consumption basis. For the majority of newly registered eGaming operators with UK customers, the
first reporting period for UK gambling duties will end on 31 March 2015. Returns and any payments
of tax(es) due need to be received by HM Revenue & Customs by no later than 30 April 2015.
There are some key issues for operators to deal with in calculating duty liabilities. The rules are not
the same across each of the gambling duties and operators will need to determine which products
fall within which duty. For example sports betting falls within the scope of General Betting Duty
whilst slots, casino games and poker are covered by Remote Gaming Duty.
Where operators offer a number of products across multiple jurisdictions the level of complexity can
be significant. In addition, promotions are also treated differently depending on the Duty. It is
therefore important that operators consider carefully the impact of the rules on their businesses.
This should help to mitigate any unnecessary exposures to indirect tax in this area.
End of first reporting period for UK Gambling Duties:
31 March 2015
Deadline for submission of return and tax payment:
30 April 2015
Key areas of focus for operators include:
- Are reporting systems and processes sufficiently robust to calculate stakes and prizes on a
product-by-product and player-by-player basis?
- Promotions – have the rules for each duty been considered in relation to promotions
- matched bets
- enhanced odds
- free cash
- progressive jackpots
- free spins
- guaranteed jackpots
- refunded losing bets
- free to enter tournaments
- Pooled games/P2P games – the effect of UK rules on games played between customers
across multiple jurisdictions
- The effect of promotional cash in players eWallets pre-1 December 2014
With UK gambling duties levied at 15% and eGaming operators having high levels of promotional
expenditure, it is prudent for operators to fully understand the effect and impact of the UK gambling
tax rules on their respective businesses.