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UK Autumn Statement suggests government will create unified tax for remote gambling

| By Marese O'Hagan
Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor of the exchequer, said the government will soon consult on bringing remote gambling under one tax, as opposed to the current three-tax structure.
Autumn Statement gambling

Hunt made the announcement during the Autumn Statement. The Autumn Statement is a government document featuring economic forecasts and tax and spending proposals.

Hunt’s plan is that the government will consult “shortly” on proposals to change the structure of remote gambling taxation. It defines remote gambling as being “gambling offered over the internet, telephone, TV and radio”.

The consultation would discuss getting rid of the three-tax structure, which is made up of remote gaming duty, general betting duty and pool betting duty.

For the 2022-2023 tax year, remote gaming duty sits at 21% of remote gaming profits. General betting duty is 15% of net stake receipts, which is comparable to the gross profits from bookmaking. Pool betting duty is 15% of pool betting receipts.

Land-based duties not under threat

As the consultation is set to focus on remote gambling, land-based operators and their tax structure are safe – for now.

This upcoming consultation has been announced amid the backdrop of the Gambling Act review white paper fallout. The document – which came out in April – outlined how gambling will be regulated in the UK in the digital age.

The white paper proposals are being considered by the GB Gambling Commission. The Commission opened its consultation process on the proposals in July.

This first round looked at financial risk and vulnerability, online games design, enhancing consumer choice on direct marketing and improving age verification at land-based venues. It closed in October. Earlier this month, Mandy Gill, director of compliance at the Commission, said that over 3,000 submissions were made in total.

The next round of consultations will consider seven topics over 12 weeks. It is set to close in February or March, according to Tim Miller, executive director of policy at the Commission.

The next round will consider the possibility of opting in for online bonuses and other offers, as well as how penalties are worked out.

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