UK gaming duty bands set to increase from April 2022

By Dominic Marius-Markham

UK casino operators will see their tax payments change from 1 April 2022 after Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his autumn budget to the House of Commons.

Gross gaming yield (GGY) bands are set to increase in line with inflation, raising the amount operators will need to earn before paying more in gaming duty.

Under current UK law, the minimum rate is 15% on an operator’s first £2.5m ($3.5m), which rises to 50% on any earnings over £13.8m. This was enshrined in section 108 of the Finance Act 2021, which amended earlier legislation from 1997, but it is now subject to change as casinos companies will instead pay 15% on their first £2.6m, and only hit the 50% ceiling on anything over £14.6m.

Gaming duty has a progressive tax structure, in which payees are subject to marginal rates based on their earnings, meaning those who earn more, pay more.

“Gaming duty is paid by casinos on their GGY, which can broadly be defined as the amounts staked by customers minus winnings paid to them. The duty is calculated by reference to bands of GGY. As the GGY increases, so does the rate applied to calculate the duty,” explained HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

With this measure, it is hoped that the gaming duty accounted for by casino operators is maintained at real levels. It is expected to have a “negligible impact” on approximately 50 casino operators, with “minor changes” to HMRC’s IT systems to cost around £30,000.

Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2021-22 to increase the GGY values in section 11(2) of the Finance Act 1997. These bandings cover a six-month accounting period and businesses liable to gaming duty are required to submit a return at the end of each period, using the GGY bandings to calculate their gaming duty liability.


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