UK Taxman Relies On Lotteries And Online Casinos

Gambling operators in the UK may be failing, but the government continues to look like the criminals they are tax-hopping.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published the latest UK Betting and Gaming Statistics report on Thursday, revealing that the government’s gaming tax collection reached £ 1,463b in the six months ended September 30, up a small 0.5 percent from last year’s same period.

While the overall transportation remains virtually unchanged, the contributions of the individual gaming segments to that total have shifted dramatically since April 1, when the UK government raised the Remote Gaming Duty (RGD, or online casino income tax) from 15% to 21%.

Between April 1 to September 30, the RGD haul of HMRC amounted to £ 332.4 million, up between £ 263.9 million in the same period last year, a rise of 26% year-on-year. As a result of this change, HMRC’s overall gaming haul online casino taxes accounted for 22.7 percent, up from 18.1 percent in the same period last year.

The government also urged the RGD to account for its forced cut in total stakes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) in UK gambling retail shops, a move that also took place on April 1. The new HMRC report shows £ 270.3 m in Machine Gaming Duty (MGD), down 24.2% year-on-year.

And HMRC’s online casino tax estimate increased £ 68.5 m in its fiscal H1 when FOBT tax dropped £ 86.7 m. Nonetheless, while looking at the three months ending September 30–which featured a busier sports calendar and thus more potential to cross-sell online to casino–RGD was up 47.4 percent (a £ 63.4 m gain) while MGD dropped by one-third (a £ 61.1 m reduction).

In the six months ended September 30, the general betting obligation on both land-based and online fixed odds wagering added £ 274.3 m, down approximately 11 percent year-on-year, although the 2018 timeframe included a little quadrennial shindig known as the FIFA World Cup.

Lottery Duty continued to bring in the majority of the betting tax collection from HMRC at £ 471.7 m, up almost 16 percent year-on-year. A record haul of £ 90.7 m in September brought the lottery numbers goose, which HMRC attributed on offer to a larger than normal rollover reward.