Taxing free bets gets back to the fore

29 Aug 2017

UK tax betsIncreased speculation had arisen back in July that the UK government intended to impose tax on free bets and related offers. Although this rumor had surely shaken the betting industry waters, it came in complete contrast to the Government 2017 financial bill that had already removed this ruling.

However, it seems there is no smoke without fire as the HM Revenue and Customs announced that it has actually decided to reintroduce the proposed tax on free bets.

Jason Fisher, Senior Associate at Wiggin LLP said: "About three weeks ago the Government issued a Written Ministerial Statement which confirmed the intention to legislate for all measures dropped from the pre-election Finance Bill, including certain provisions which will still commence as originally planned but be given retrospective application if relevant. HMRC has confirmed to the RGA that the free play provision is one such provision.”

The HMRC revealed that the tax will be enacted on 1 August 2017, under revised legislation. The expected profit from taxing free bets amounts to a sizeable extra £45m in the first year and is expected to be increased up to £110m by 2020/21.

Squire Patton Boggs Partner, Carl Rohsler stated: “The changes originally proposed in the earlier Finance Bill were shelved and have now been introduced post-election. It is said that they aim to create a more logical treatment of all forms of free bet (whether offered in the course of betting or gaming) which had previously been treated differently. The net effect is to increase the overall taxation burden on the gambling community. One major concession which was given as a result of government consultation was that free bets will only be taxed on the first occasion that they are offered, and not when they are “re-bet” during the course of play (as is usually a condition of the bonus offer). There has been little reaction from the gambling fraternity, but any change to the taxation structure is likely to put pressure on some operators to limit the use of free betting as a marketing tool. But given the extent to which free bets and bonusing is a necessary part of the ever –continuing struggle to attract and retain players, it seems likely that the larger operators will try to bear most of the burden and continue to offer free bet bonusing.”

Join and grab exclusive bonuses, daily offers and free bets!

Lay hands on exclusive daily bonuses for members only. These promos are limited and are not advertised on the website.

Yes, I have read the Terms & Conditions and I consent to receiving emails from Bookmakers.bet regarding betting promotions, betting guides and news.

BOOK SPY

After a week off due to national team fixtures the English Premier League returns to action, and what a better way to do start matchday 9 than with th...

Read more »

Gambling can be traced in Germany all the way back to Roman times when soldiers were playing several forms of dice games. At some point after the intr...

Read more »

The UK Gambling Commission fined online betting operator Betway £408,915 for marketing on the kids’ section of the West Ham United Football Club...

Read more »

The 2021 report from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has been released. The MGA generally took less regulatory actions, such as issuing fewer warning...

Read more »

The 2022 European Cricket Championships, held in Malaga, Spain, now have Stake.com as an official partner. The T10 competition, in which 21 national t...

Read more »

Just one week after an impressive 49-goal matchday 1, UEFA Champions League action is back. Among all the exciting events, the one that stands out the...

Read more »

LeoVegas Group, the renowned igaming operator, disclosed on Thursday that English Premier League giants Manchester City is the subject of a new partne...

Read more »

The moment football fans worldwide have been waiting for has finally come. The 2022-23 UEFA Champions League season is officially underway with 8 matc...

Read more »

After expanding into Colorado, their second active US state so far, Bet365‘s presence in the North American market has grown. Bettors in the Cen...

Read more »

The 2022 summer transfer window ends on the night of September 1st. As the deadline day is rapidly coming close, top European clubs are looking to sea...

Read more »

LATEST BOOKMAKER PROMOTIONS