Do You Have to Pay Tax on Casino Gambling Winnings in the UK?

Posted on October 21st, 2009

Here is a question that we keep getting asked, so we will try and do our best to answer it. For a definitive answer, always speak to a tax lawyer.

If you win at an online casino, bingo, poker or sports betting site and you live in the UK, do you need to declare it to the taxman? Will the Inland revenue take its share?

Well, we have investigated this pretty thoroughly and we believe that, unlike the US, there is no tax to pay on gambling winnings in the UK and that includes casino, bingo, poker and sports winnings.

The main reason gambling is not taxed in the UK is because of the way UK tax law works. If the taxman started taxing winnings he would also need to offset losses before working out personal income tax- and this would be a can of worms.

The government try and get their money at source from the betting companies (which is only possible if the operation is based in the UK). Many companies have moved to overseas regulated jurisdictions such as Gibraltar.

For land based betting, Mr Tax Man scoops 15% of the bookies gross profit as a levy and up to half of a casino’s gross. Bingo clubs pay VAT. Lotteries pay up front. The UK government go after the gambling businesses for tax and not the winners as they consider that taxing winners would help kill the overall gambling golden tax goose.

Compare that to the US where gambling wins are taxed by both the IRS and by many states and must be declared as income on your tax return. BUT, all losses from all forms of gambling are deductible for recreational players, limited to the amount of winnings declared.

Professional gamblers have to file as a self-employed business.

OK- so now you have worked that one out, where do you play from the UK? Well, one of the things we try and do here at Online Casino King is to give you a bit more bang for your buck (or punch for your pound), so check out our UK exclusive casino bonus page for a list of higher bonus offers that we have agreed with casinos for players that come from OCK.

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