Beginning in August 2017, online casino and bingo operators will be liable for tax on free plays offered to customers as an incentive or reward for playing on their site.
Shares in UK bookmakers are bouncing back as gambling companies breathe a sigh of relief that they were not targeted in a further crackdown in the Budget on the so-called sin industries
Free spins are a very popular way for online gaming operators to attract new players. The reform will bring remote casino and bingo into alignment with the General Betting Duty, according to the Budget report that accompanied George Osborne’s speech:
“Remote gaming operators currently benefit from a more generous tax treatment when they offer discounted or free gambling (‘freeplays’) to customers in Remote Gaming Duty than would be the case for operators offering free bets on things like football and horseracing,”
“The government will therefore amend the tax treatment of freeplays in Remote Gaming Duty to bring it into line with the tax treatment of free bets in General Betting Duty.”
Shares in gambling companies fell sharply on Monday following speculation that duties on controversial touch screen gaming machines found in high street betting shops might be raised. The machines, called fixed-odds betting terminals, have been dubbed the “crack cocaine” of the betting industry by anti-gambling campaigners.
pokerfuse.com ; ft.com