UK GOVERNMENT INCREASES CASINO TAX TO 21%
The UK isn’t as popular for their gambling operations, but it is still considered as a substantially large industry. Taxing these operators has been going quite roughly for the last couple of years as it had gone through numerous changes within the last 4 years. There have been 5 alterations so far.
Now, according to recent reports from PressGambling.com, the United Kingdom is planning on increasing that tax to 21%, potentially dooming the whole thing and making new arrivals in the industry fight for their very existence.
The UK Chancellor Philip Hammond, was the person who previewed all of the online gambling taxes for the Autumn 2018 Budget. Based on his research it was decided that the revenue generated from these operations were not meeting the government’s expectations and therefore needed to be upgraded to 21% revenue tax for October next year.
It is rumored that the online gambling operators that feature live games like video poker are going to be hit the hardest, as their revenues exceed all the others.
There is also another reason the government has introduced the tax spike. Although it sounds like just a cover-up. In their statement they have announced that the RGD (Remote Gaming Duty) needed to be increased because of the potential losses they will suffer from the recent FOBT stake cut.
The FOBT (Fixed odds betting terminal) stake cut
The FOBT stake cut has been pretty much the most discussed topic in the UK parliament recently. As the schedule started to jump around, it was hard to determine when the new RGD rate needed to be implemented. All this hints to the pre-decision of RGD way before it was announced to the public. In conclusion, it will be pegged to the FOBT stake cut and come into action at the same time, also indicating that the final date for FOBT is decided and will be next October.
The reactions from the industry weren’t something to be expected. Some of the operators were even happy that the dreaded rumor of an increase to 25% wasn’t true. However, most of the operators appalled by the tax state more or less the same arguments. The fact that this is the 6th time that the tax is altered within the last 4 years. They fear that the business will soon become unsustainable and they would have to close down or get sold to giants in the industry, ultimately monopolizing it.
The UK government has come out with their own estimates of how this tax spike will help the country cope with the FOBT stake cut. The country is expecting roughly £1.15b losses from the stake cut, but is hoping to mitigate it with the new tax revenue spike that will bring in £1.2b over the next five years. Ultimately putting the country into a surplus. But that, is depending on how the industry will react and if it will continue to grow with the same rate. This whole thing could come crashing down in a moments notice.