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Sin Tax to Hit UK Online Casinos


8 Nov 2018

Philip Hammond’s 2018 Budget was met with praise from many with handouts for the NHS, tax on private landlords, and an increase in personal tax allowances but if you smoke, drink wine, or gamble online you could be hit with one of the new ‘sin taxes’ and it’s not great news for UK online casinos!

Online Gambling Hit

Hammond declared that he’d like to see £1 billion in taxes drawn from online gambling over the next five years and the Budget set out exactly how that money will be raised.

It was announced during the Budget that as well as increases on tobacco tax and other ‘sin taxes’, there will be an increase in tax on online casinos games taking it from the current 15% to 21%, a move that it is hoped will raise an estimated £1.25 billion for the treasury over the next five years.

Changes Cancel Each Other

While this tax increase sounds like fantastic news for the treasury it comes on the back of the news that fixed odds betting terminals are also coming under an overhaul that takes effect this month. Earlier this year the government made the decision to cut the maximum stake for the FOBT, a move that it’s predicted will cost the government around £1.15 billion over the next five years.

This means that one change is likely to cancel out the other and so the good news is undone by another decision the government made earlier this year.

The two decisions mean that both online gambling companies, and campaigners against FOBT are likely to be unhappy, putting them in a lose/lose situation.