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HM Revenue and Customs Brief 59/07


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Issued 23 August 2007

VAT: Gambling participation fees, iincluding bingo and remote gaming


HMRC has revised the scope of the exemption for gambling participation fees in the light of, and to coincide with the introduction of, the Gambling Act 2005, which comes into force on 1 September 2007. From that date, the changes to VAT legislation also apply.

Existing law

Until 1 September 2007, charges made under the Gaming Act 1968 or the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, to take part in a game of chance, are taxable at the standard rate . In effect, this taxes participation fees for bingo and other gaming, with some exceptions for small -scale operations.

New law

The VAT (Betting, Gaming and Lotteries) Order 2007 (SI 2007/2163) comes into effect on 1 September 2007. Broadly speaking, the Order maintains the existing exemptions. However, VAT will become chargeable for the first time on participation fees which are calculated on the basis of a percentage of the stakes risked in a game, and those charged for games against the house.

Participation fees will continue to be exempt from VAT in respect of:

  • remote gaming for the purpose of remote gaming duty;
  • prize gaming under a permit or at any qualifying centre or fair;
  • non-commercial gaming;
  • equal chance gaming at a qualifying club or institute;
  • gaming for small prizes at a bingo hall.

Further Advice

If you have any questions about this change, please phone the National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000.

Notice 701/26 Betting and Gaming and Notice 701/27 Bingo will be updated shortly.

About the Author

Crown Copyright 2007.

A licence is need to reproduce this article and has been republished for educational / informational purposes only. Article reproduced by permission of HM Revenue & Customs under the terms of a Click-Use Licence. Tax briefs are updated regularly and may be out of date at time of reading.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-08-28 23:38:45 in Tax Articles

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