UK could add new gaming tax

Starting in August, online gaming platforms may be charged with a new tax on freeplays.

UK.- Online gaming operators could contribute with further taxes as the UK government plans to add a new levy on freeplays in the Finance Bill 2017. The project was introduced last year by the HM Revenue and Customs, but was later dismissed whilst drafting this year’s Bill. However, legislators addressed the debate again this week.

HM Revenue and Customs plan was to integrate remote online gaming services into the current general gaming legislation. Therefore, freeplays and discounts on online gaming platforms would be charged under the general tax regime approved in the UK. The new tax payments could take effect during the legislative session, which will start on September 5. However, the bill could be applied retroactively in order to also address activities since August 1.

The draft legislation determines that free plays are considered taxable gaming payments every time they’re played, whilst accumulated winnings cannot be deducted from the tax calculation until the player is set to collect the winnings.

The operators believe that if this measure comes into effect, it would severely hurt the market. The HMRC said that they’re considering only taxing the first use of free plays, whilst winnings will only be considered at the end of the re-wagering process.

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