AskGenie: Are Casino Winnings Taxable in the UK?

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Are Casino Winnings Taxable in the UK? 

Genie Answers: Gambling is not taxed in the United Kingdom. While gamblers in certain countries, including the United States, France, and Macau, must pay gambling taxes ranging from 1% to 25%, bettors in the United Kingdom are allowed to keep their whole earnings. In fact, neither online nor offline gamblers in the United Kingdom need to be concerned about taxes. If you've been gambling for a long time, you may recall having to deal with betting duties, but they were abolished in 2001, just in time for the advent of internet gambling.

Who Pays The Taxes?

Casinos and bookies are now responsible for paying the tax, as this is how they contribute to the UK economy. Before 2001, The 1960 Betting and Gaming Act was in place which meant that players were charged a staggering 9% commission. Luckily for players, Gordon Brown eliminated it in his March 2001 budget.

Instead of a tax on gamblers, a 15 percent tax on bookmakers and their gross earnings was imposed at the point of sale. Because of the 'point of supply' premise, bookmakers who were not situated in the UK were not liable. This was a major issue for Brown, who worried that offshore gambling sites were costing the UK money. Indeed, an increasing number of bookies are moving their internet operations overseas, where they will only have to pay the local tax rate on revenues, which in Gibraltar is capped at 1%!

This changed in 2014 when the 2005 Gambling Act was amended. From that moment forward, all gross profits at the point of consumption, including those from offshore firms, were taxed at 15%. Gambling companies in Gibraltar, for example, were now required to pay tax in order to receive a gambling license. This amendment effectively rendered operating in the UK without a UK gaming license unlawful.

This had a significant impact on making UK-based bookies and betting shops more competitive, boosting the gambling industry's expansion and success.

There are numerous taxes and gambling fees that these companies need to pay, such as:

  • General betting duty
  • Bingo duty
  • Machine games duty
  • Lottery duty
  • Gaming duty
  • Remote betting duty

While it may feel great that for once the ‘big guy’ is footing the bill. remember that to some extent the costs are still passed on to you. Some online gambling sites, for example, offer excessive wagering requirements or poor odds, but this isn’t the case here at SpinGenie!

Why Aren’t Players Taxed for their Winnings?

So, why aren’t players taxed for their winnings? Well, it is more convenient for everyone concerned to leave winnings untaxed. For example, if people pay taxes on their gains in the same way as businesses do, it may be possible to claim losses on tax returns. As you can expect, this would be a nightmare, especially given the fact that the majority of individuals lose money when they gamble. So instead, casinos and bookmakers pay a 15% duty that covers the taxation that their players would have previously paid.

Keep Records of your Plays and Winnings

Although gambling income is not required to be declared on a tax return in the United Kingdom, successful players and bettors frequently keep personal records of their wins and losses. While it may appear that keeping a performance log is a waste of time given that your gains are tax-free, there are a few advantages to doing so.

It's usually a good idea to keep track of how much you spend and win while you're gaming. Gambling records will provide adequate proof that you are not concealing income from taxable sources, as well as a useful tool for tracking your development as you gain skills. This is just another part of good record keeping when it comes to gambling, with another major component being bankroll management. For more information on this check out our article; What is a casino bankroll?

Play Casino Games at Spin Genie

Knowing that your hard-earned winnings aren’t taxable is just another boon that adds to the fun experience of playing online. While you don’t have to worry about a phone call from the taxman, we still recommend keeping good records as they might indicate patterns in your gambling which can be used to improve your performance. To play great casino games sign up and play today at Spin Genie.


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