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UK Finalizes Hefty Online Gambling Tax

UK-facing online gambling operators got a case of good news/bad news this week. The bad news is that, beginning in October 2019, UK-facing online gambling operators will see their tax on revenue leap from 15 percent to 21 percent. The good news is that that’s nowhere near as big an increase as British lawmakers were actually hoping to squeeze out of them.
The new tax was introduced this week in Parliament by UK Chancellor Philip Hammond as he unveiled the operating budget for 2019 to his peers. His presentation included a segment on the Remote Gaming Duty (RGD) that taxes online gambling operators for everything except sports betting.
Hammond’s report also served as a kind of passive/aggressive reminder to the online gambling industry that the six percent increase on their revenue was a lot less than lawmakers originally wanted. That reminder came in the form of Hammond’s mention of the government’s upcoming edict to reduce the maximum wager on fixed-odds betting terminals from from £100 to to £2.
That move may wind up reducing problem gambling, but it will also reduce the amount of money that UK tax collectors extract from online casinos by more than £1 billion, according to a report in the Guardian. To offset any potential losses, the government decided to wring out more taxes from online gambling operators via an RGD tax hike.
So far, there’s no confirmed date on when the FOBT wager reduction is set to take place, but most industry observers expect it to go into effect at the same time as the RGD.