Bookies are bracing themselves for new gambling tax in the Budget

Posted on April 20th, 2009

UK bookmakers such as Ladbrokes and Wiliam Hill are bracing themselves for a new tax assault from Gordon and Alistair to scoop off revenue for the treasury from their successful casino machines that both companies operate in their high street betting shops (like the Ladbrokes roulette terminals for example).

The UK Chancellor’s Budget will be delivered to the House on Wednesday and could dampen the industry´s spirits following the Grand National 100-1 winner earlier in April. The bookies literally coined it in on that one, unsuprisingly, as all the “smart money” went on shorter odds.
Ladbrokes and their counterparts pay tax in 4 different ways: corporation tax on profits and VAT; gross profit tax (GPT) at a rate of 15% on their net revenues; and casino machine licence duty (AMDL), which costs around £2100 a year per machine known as fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

Tax specialists reckon Mr Taxman will hike up the gross profit tax and the government take on FOBTs. With such a masive hole to plug in the public finances, the sector is coming under the spotlight. The gross profit tax on net revenues could inflate to 20% but it is the FOBT´s that the government has got its beady little eyes on. Ladbrokes and William Hill made more than £500 million from FOBTs last year.

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