The Emergency Budget and Gambling

Stephen Hignett, Tax Partner, CMS

Further to my initial blog below, now that I’ve read the detailed press releases there are two further points to mention on gambling issues.

The Tote

Under the heading “Asset Sales” there is included the following:

“… over the next 12 months the Government will …. resolve the future of the Tote in a way that secures value for the taxpayer while recognising the support the Tote currently provides the racing industry”

Notwithstanding that this has been included under the heading Asset Sales (and was mentioned by the Chancellor in his speech in the same breath as his proposal to sell assets such as the student loan book and NATS), these words seem to have been very carefully picked to leave all options open to the Government.  That said, perhaps the deadline of 12 months within which a “resolution” will be reached may be somewhat optimistic given the difficulties that have surrounded this subject in the past?

What does appear to be clear, however, is that the Coalition Government clearly seems to be keen to grapple with this issue early on in its tenure.

Lottery duty

In February 2008, the Tories announced their plans to reform the national lottery.  Part of those plans was to replace the current form of lottery duty with a gross profits tax.

HMRC has today announced a proposal that the current stakes based duty (levied at 12% of ticket value) be replaced by a gross profits tax.  The press release contains little information so one assumes that we will hear more in due course.

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