Hammond’s ‘Give Away Budget’ triggers further ‘nightmare’ for UK gambling

This afternoon, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond delivered the UK’s ‘final budget before Brexit’, promising a ‘big give away’ for UK public services and healthcare.

Prior to publishing the 2018 Budget, political commentators expected Chancellor Hammond to deliver a fiscal plan which would support PM Theresa May’s autumn declaration that the ‘era of austerity was coming to an end’.

Presenting the 2018 Budget, Chancellor Hammond stated that the Conservative government was fully committed to delivering its funding pledge of a £20 billion cash boost for the NHS.

As anticipated by industry leadership, Hammond’s increased public expenditure would see the UK gambling sector hit once again with increased duties.

Outlining its 2019 tax plan, the UK Treasury will increase Remote Gambling Duties from 15% to 21% on ‘online games of chance’, a figure that has been labelled as a further ‘nightmare scenario’ for industry stakeholders.

“I can confirm that we will increase Remote Gaming Duty on online games of chance, to 21 percent in order to fund the loss of revenue as we reduce FOBT stakes to 2 pounds,” Hammond told parliament.

Preparing for future duty impacts, industry leadership will likely seek for a clear definition on categorising ‘online games of chance’.

The Treasury would later confirm through a policy document that it would implement its long-awaited FOBTs stake reduction on October 2019, alongside the introduction of its increased RGD charge.

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