As part of ongoing research into the UK gambling industry I have been looking at the financial accounts of some of the major UK bookmakers. I have come up with this model to demonstrate the taxes paid by a typical UK betting shop business that has a good, primarily UK-focused Internet betting business.

Tax/duty

GB£m

Combined Gross win

500

Betting duty

40

Machine games duty

57.5

Betting Levy

9.8

Corporation tax

8.0

Total tax

115.3

Net profit after tax

19.5


Quite a substantial tax bill. The situation is actually even worse for the bookmaker because to get the true total of taxes collected and paid you need to add in the employer’s contribution to national insurance and general rates paid to local government for each betting shop. 

Assets must be replaced over time. Amortisation and depreciation would already have been written off in the profit and loss account.  But as the gambling industry becomes more sophisticated and competitive the frequency of replenishing the assets is likely to increase, against a background of weakening profitability. 

The UK Government is making a lot more out of FOBTs than the operator. In this case, total taxes paid equals nearly six times the bookmaker’s profit. 


All the talk of limiting stakes and prizes on FOBTs hurts HM Treasury more than the bookmakers! Perhaps bookmakers should join the TEA party. Taxed Enough Already.

By Warwick Bartlett