The Finance Act of 2011 revised the definition of “gaming” under Section 33(1) of the Gaming Duties Act and Betting of 1981.

A gambling establishment’s ‘gross gaming yield’ is used to calculate the amount of tax due, or ‘Gaming Duty,’ which is a tax on casino gaming earnings. Any location or mode of transportation qualifies as “premises.”

Gambling establishments are subject to taxation, but not online or mobile casinos. Below are some illustrations to support the above statement:

  • In gambling, players bet against a bank controlled by the house, as in roulette and blackjack.
  • In games of chance, such as poker and backgammon, consumers play against one another, but the casino operator supplies the facilities for the games.

Casino games, as defined by section 10(5) of the Finance Act 1997, are games of chance that do not include equal opportunity that is subject to any requirements or specified games under a Treasury Order.

In the United Kingdom, “equal chance gaming” refers to games where the odds are the same for each player, regardless of whether they are playing against the house or other players. It refers to gambling in Northern Ireland that is not restricted by Article 55 of the Gambling, Gaming, Lotteries, and Amusements Order 1985.

What Is Exempt From the Gaming Duty

Machine games duty (MGD) is an excise tax levied on “dutiable machine games.” Machine gaming winnings are exempt from value-added tax in jurisdictions where MGD is levied.

The games not covered by Bingo Duty or Lottery Duty and have a particular exemption from these taxes are free from Gaming Duty. Section 10(3) of the Finance Act of 1997 provides the legal basis for these exceptions.

  • Private gaming
  • Little-scale gaming
  • gaming is not for business

When using a machine that is categorized as an entertainment machine for duty reasons, gaming duty does not apply.

Premises Registration and Notification

You are required to sign up for Gaming Duty if you are:

  • If duty-payable gambling is conducted on the premises, the licensee of the casino is under the Gambling Act of 2005
  • A business that rents out unlicensed locations where people may engage in illegal gambling
  • Immersed in the operation or supervision of taxable gambling on unauthorized premises

Any entity that can regulate customer access to a gaming venue is considered a supplier of that venue. You must register with Gaming Duty at least 14 days in advance to legally provide gambling services.

To confirm your status as a partnership, please fill out and return form GD57: Partnership information.

After reviewing your application, you will receive a Gaming Duty registration number. When inquiring about Gaming Duty, please include this reference number.

The Premises of HMRC

When you apply for Gaming Duty registration, you should also provide the legal team with information about your location. Form GD58, Notification of Premises, must be filled out and submitted.

If at any point you move the location where you conduct gaming operations, please let them know using form GD58. This covers any place that has a Temporary Use Notice for gambling. You may face civil fines if you fail to notify them of any updates.

Every registration covers each location where you provide gambling. For Gaming Duty purposes, if two or more businesses register as a group, that registration will extend to include all areas where the registered businesses’ respective gaming services are provided.

Report Changes

If any information on your account changes, you must notify HMRC within seven days. The following information needs to be verified within seven days, 

  • Registration request
  • Notification of locations listed in your entry in the register – for the Gaming Duty, you must inform them of any changes affecting businesses that are a member of your group.
  • When you know your final trading day, get in touch with the Gambling Duties Team

The Responsibility of Unauthorised Gaming

Unlicensed gambling occurs on grounds where:

  • The location in question is used to host gambling activities that trigger the payment of Gaming Duty
  • The service provider did not notify the authorities that the premises were being utilized for gambling
  • The Game Provider has yet to be approved by the legal team

If gaming occurs on an unlicensed site at any point during an accounting period, the Gaming Duty for the whole six-month period will be 50% of the total gaming revenue from such sites.

How To Register

HMRC must receive a completed Form GD56 Registration Application for Gaming Duty from a firm, single proprietor, or unincorporated organization at least two weeks before the provision of gaming services may begin.

Complete and submit an Application to enroll for Gaming Duty form GD57 if you are establishing a partnership.

Form GD60, Application for group therapy for gaming duty, must also be submitted if group registration is desired. If you wish to be considered a group by HMRC, you must submit this form three months in advance.