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UK to Tax Casino & Bingo Free Bets from 2017
- March 17, 2016 By Nemanja L. -
Online casino and bingo operators licensed in the UK will be obliged to pay tax on their free bet promotions from 2017, it has been revealed.
Chancellor George Osborne presented the government’s new budget proposal on Wednesday, revealing the plan to impose a 15% general betting duty (GBD) tax on free bets and discounted wagers starting from 1 August 2017.
The UK government caused a great deal of controversy when it introduced a 15% point of consumption tax (POCT) on internet gambling revenue from UK bettors, but casino and bingo free bets were taken out of the equation.
The new plan will ensure that bingo and casino free bet offers are taxed at the same rate as the values that already apply to sports betting, so this can hardly be seen as a surprise.
The good news for the operators is that the August 2017 start date gives them plenty of time to adjust their current promotions to ensure the cost resulting from the new legal framework is something they can live with.
Good News for UK Bookmakers
UK’s leading bookmakers appear to have dodged a bullet as they expected Osborne to further increase the Machine Games Duty or at least additionally restrict online advertising.
And with neither of these becoming a reality, the likes of Ladbrokes and William Hill saw the value of their shares increase 6 percent and 4 percent respectively.
The point of consumption tax, introduced back in 2014, had a major effect on the UK sports betting market, causing Ladbrokes to post first annual loss in the last ten years.
Having somehow managed to survive the POCT, UK bookmakers feared new legal framework would be introduced that would further eat into their profits, so it is fair to say they were quite relieved to hear that the only change concerned casino and bingo sites.