Gambling duty paid by UK operators surpassed GB£ 3 billion in 2019, a new record amount for the sector. The enforced shutdown of retail gambling in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic mean that it could mark a peak for the near future.
The UK’s bookmakers have been successful in their case against HMRC over the VAT treatment of FOBTs, as first reported by GBGC last month. Now HMRC has decided not to appeal, the listed firms are revealing their estimated winnings.
The Colorado Belle Casino and Resort, Nevada, is closing indefinitely, with the loss of 400 workers. The Colorado Belle has been closed since mid-March, in line with Nevada’s efforts to tackle COVID-19.
Casino operator Silver Heritage Group has entered voluntary administration, with the impact of the pandemic proving the final straw for the company.
Gambling and travel data from various Asian jurisdictions highlight the catastrophic impact of COVID-19 and the measures taken to tackle it.
An independent bookmaker told me last week that the UK government was paying his staff 80% of their salary and he had claimed a further £25,000 per closed shop. The business, prior to shutdown, had become so difficult to run: numerous regulatory issues, limits on stakes and prizes, and a rise in tax. With time to reflect during the lockdown, he has decided not to re-open. That is a sad state of affairs for the UK betting sector.
The economic damage caused to the high street by the current lockdown is causing tenants to put a new proposal to their landlords: let us pay by rent according to our turnover or take back the keys to the property.
The Upper Tribunal has dismissed HMRC’s appeal relating to the VAT treatment of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) and could lead to VAT refunds for the UK’s bookmakers.
The betting shops might be closed and the sporting calendar lies bare but betting firms have been doing their bit in the efforts to combat the pandemic.
Gambling activities account for 60% of global gambling revenues have been subject to restriction or shutdown since the start of 2020, as part of measures to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus.