UK Gambling Tax Explained
There are two main pieces of UK gambling tax legislation in place to ensure the safety of gamblers across the United Kingdom, these being: the 2005 Gambling Act, and the 2014 Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act. Overall, it’s the UK government that has responsibility for managing the laws surrounding the gambling industry in this country, with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) standing as the regulatory body. The UKGC functions as an independent organisation, ensuring an unbiased approach to monitoring and directing legislation along with managing regulation of the UK’s gambling operators.
- The 2005 Gambling Act – this sets out the legal framework around ensuring individual safety, that no minors engage in gambling, that no criminal activity is attempted or enabled, and that, overall, gambling is undertaken in a transparent and fair way;
- The 2014 Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act – this act set out requirements operators based outside of the UK to hold UKGC licences, along with a particular focus on reforming gambling advertising. It also outlines rules stating that remote operators must pay gambling duty to the UK, and stipulates the necessity of a horserace betting levy to be paid by remote operators.
Amidst all of this, there is some good news for gambling fans based in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland: any winnings you gain through a UK-licensed gambling establishment is free from tax. The reason for this is that gambling isn’t recognised as a profession, meaning even professional gamblers, such as poker players, do not need to pay income tax on their winnings. In contrast, it is the operators, casinos, betting shops, and any other gambling establishment that are required by law to pay gambling duties to HMRC at a tax rate of 15% on all profits gained. So, if you’re a UK-based gambler, it’s encouraging to know that you have nothing to worry about with regards to UK gambling tax implications.