HMRC Gambling Statistics Show Growth of 0.5%

HM Revenue and Customs has just published its latest UK Betting and Gaming Statistics report. The report shows growth over the six months leading up to September 30th. In comparison to figures from this time last year, there has been a 0.5% increase in overall tax revenue.

Financial papers with a pen and a calculator.

HMRCs latest report shows a year of mixed results for the UK’s gambling industry. ©Pixabay

According to these figures, the government has taken in £1,463 million during these six months . The gambling sector is still a key source of tax revenue for the government, despite a blitz of bad press coverage. This year has seen operators leaving the UK and bookies on the high street closing their doors. Nevertheless, HMRC’s report does confirm several positive trends, showing that there is still hope for the industry in the UK.

What Does the Report Say?

The new UK Betting and Gaming Statistics report brings together statistics from the seven gambling regimes that HMRC manages. These include duties on Bingo, Gaming, General Betting, Lottery, Machine Games, Pool Betting and Remote Gaming.

According to figures collected over the last three financial years, total betting and gaming receipts by month have risen consistently. For instance, one stands out result shows that Lottery Duty is now at the second-highest single month since 1994, when it was first introduced. That means that Lottery Duty is now at £90.7 million, as of September 2019.

Two Types of Betting Duty

The report outlines that there are two types of betting duty. These are General Betting Duty (GBD) and Pool Betting Duty (PBD) . General Betting Duty is ”charged on fixed-odds bets made with bookmakers in UK premises or remotely by UK persons”. This does not include on-course betting. Pool Betting Duty is charged on non-fixed-odds betting in the UK. For example, when a group contributes to a prize pool, the tax will be deducted according to the contributions.

Figures show that it has been a bumper year for GBD. The report highlights that this year’s total of £619.2 million General Betting Duty is a record, making it the highest recorded year for GBD. The main reason for this is the high number of sporting events that have happened during this period. Pool Betting has also shown a statistical increase of 10.7% over last year. However, as PBD is the smallest contributor to total receipts, this increase doesn’t make a huge impact on overall gambling revenue.

A Bumper Lottery Year

The promoter of the National Lottery pays lottery Duty, which in this case is the Camelot Group. Any other lawful lotteries are exempt from having to pay Lottery Duty. Since the National Lottery was first brought in in 1994, its duty rate has stayed at 12%. Duty is attached to scratch-cards and lottery tickets and is calculated based on the stakes received from ticket sales.

This year’s Lottery Duty has smashed records set in previous years, totaling £90.7 million. This is mostly down to a massive rollover that built up towards the end of the year. In October a EuroMillions Jackpot worth £170 million was won by a single UK ticketholder. This is the largest single-ticket win in UK history, breaking the previous record held by Colin and Chris Weir.

Gaming Duties Impacted by FOBT Legislation

There are four kinds of gaming duty detailed in the HMRC report. These are Remote Gaming Duty, Machine Games Duty, Gaming Duty, and Bingo Duty.

Remote Gaming Duty, or RGD, applies mostly to the online gambling market. It is collected from the profits of operators who use the Internet, telephone, television, radio or any other form of electronic communication to provide gambling services. This year’s RGD saw an increase of 26.0% on last year’s figures. This is likely linked to RGD rates increasing from 15% to 21% in April. This increase was put in place to offset the impact of reducing maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.

Following a study in 2017, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport decided to reduce the maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from £100 to £2. This legislation was put in place to protect the consumer, as FOBTs are particularly addictive. As a result of this policy change, Machine Games Duty fell to 24.3% compared to the previous year.

Tracey Crouch, who held the post of Minister for Sport and Civil Society at the time, has spoken about the devastating impact that problem gambling can have on communities.

“While we want a healthy gambling industry that contributes to the economy, we also need one that does all it can to protect players. We are increasing protections around online gambling, doing more on research, education and treatment of problem gambling and ensuring tighter rules around gambling advertising. We will work with the industry on the impact of these changes and are confident that this innovative sector will step up and help achieve this balance.”Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, 2018

The report also includes data on Gaming Duty and Bingo Duty, although neither of these show very remarkable figures. Due to 6-month accounting periods for Gaming Duty, graphs show peaks in spring and autumn. Bingo Duty remains stable and does not contribute to overall figures very much. Receipts bring in around £30 million each year.

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