Gambling Tax UK

Whether you are an internationally renowned poker player or a social gambler who only gambles a few quid per year, the UK is one of the best places to call home. Gambling is not only legal and fully regulated by the authorities, but you also get to keep your winnings thanks to the presence of taxfree casinos.

Tax free Casinos

Even though this may seem hard to understand, it is important to note that gambling winnings are taxfree for gamblers in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. As is to be expected, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have no reason at all to cry wolf. This is because they are able to claim a sizable portion from the gambling industry in the form of a levy imposed on all gambling operators and taxfree casinos.

The United Kingdom Betting Experience

Whereas players in countries such as Macau, France, and the USA have to worry about gambling tax, gamblers in England get the privilege of retaining all their winnings. Actually, both online taxfree casinos and offline gamblers in the United Kingdom need not waste their precious time thinking or worrying about tax.

For those who may have been gambling for a while, they will be able to recall that they had to deal with betting duties a few years back. However, the duties were scrapped by Gordon Brown in 2001 when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer during that period.

The government had no option but to introduce new changes at the beginning of this century. In part, this was due to the sudden rise of offshore betting, which many in the government perceived to be a serious threat due to its massive popularity with the British residents. However, this move came to be a first, in many other notable developments.

It was followed by the enactment of the Gambling Act 2005. The act led to the establishment of the UK Gambling Commission. It also led to the regulation of all tax free casinos and online gambling platforms. If you live in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, or England, all your gambling winnings will not be taxed, regardless of whether you play on the internet or live.

Tax Research

The research we at casino advisers have conducted has led us to believe that the regime actually makes a virtual killing from gambling-allied activities. For instance, when we looked at the figures from the 2016-17 fiscal year, we came to note that HM Revenue and Customs collected a total of 2.7billion pounds in the form of game-related duty.

Even though this particular figure also includes remote gaming, live gaming in taxfree casinos, betting, and lotteries, the reality is that this amount is quite astronomical. Of this, a great deal can be attributed to the fifteen percent tax levy that is paid by all gambling platforms.

As a player, you do not have to worry about paying taxes when you play, regardless of whether you win or lose. However, the regime does in fact tax the taxfree casinos, poker rooms, betting shops, and all other allied establishments for all the profits they make from the people frequenting their gambling platforms.

It is worth noting that although the player will not get to pay these fees in a direct manner, they are in reality built into their gambling odds. On the other hand, it is always nice to know that you have an opportunity to concentrate on playing your favourite online or live game as opposed to having to deal with all kinds of tax-related forms.

Placing Offshore Bets

If you have ever gambled online, then it is possible that you have noted that the industry is still growing. This is true whether casino advisers are talking about technological aspects such as mobile betting, the quality of games, taxfree casinos, or regulatory issues. As you have probably realised by now, many of the online casino platforms in the United Kingdom are all offshore based.

Many of these operations were initially all based in England. However, many soon came to the realization that it was possible for them to reduce their tax burden by opting to relocate their operations. By basing their servers in other countries, it became possible for them to incorporate taxfree casinos in the jurisdictions where they were based.

In a bid to counteract the moves made by the taxfree casinos’ operators, the gambling commission in the United Kingdom has made it mandatory for all websites that welcome UK clients to ensure that they are fully licensed. This is regardless of whether their base of operations is in the UK or in another country.

Additionally, the taxfree casinos and other related establishments must also remit the fifteen percent tax that is levied upon their counterparts operating in Britain. As a casino player, you do not have to worry about ever dealing with such tax. Still, the presence of a level playing field helps reduce the chances of the regime introducing changes that can negatively affect bettors.

Professional Gamblers

If you are into online gambling and like to try out the games being introduced on a frequent basis by the taxfree casinos, you will be pleased to note that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has not made any distinction between casual and professional gamblers.

Although this may be subject to change in the coming years, at the moment, the government does not recognize gambling as a professional occupation or trade. It, therefore, makes no difference to the regime whether you earn a living playing skilled games like poker or trying out your chances on slots offered by taxfree casinos.

At the end of the day, you get to retain all your earnings so long as you are in the United Kingdom. If you play poker on a professional level, then chances are that you have already retained or consulted with a professional accountant.

For instance, casino advisers have come to learn that if you were to gamble in Las Vegas and win some money, then you would be subjected to what is known as a federal withholding tax. But the good news is that you are always welcomed to apply for a refund if you are a non-resident.

In addition, if you become really good at playing poker and become a poker celebrity, you would start earning money for making public appearances on taxfree casinos or for representing various online cardrooms. This means that you would be subjected to paying tax, but not on the winnings that you make from your poker games.

Keeping Records of Your Play

Even though you are not required to declare the income made from gambling in taxfree casinos when filing your UK tax returns, it is always important to try and maintain a record of all your personal loses and wins. Many professional bettors and poker players maintain a detailed record of all their games.

To many, this may seem like a total waste of time especially given the fact that the winnings from the taxfree casinos are not taxed. But the truth is that there are numerous benefits that come with maintaining this kind of performance log.

It is very important to know how much you are spending and winning while playing on tax free casinos. Don’t’ you think you ought to know how much profit you have earned after you have factored in your losses as well as other gambling-related expenses such as lodging, meals, and travel?

When gambling online or offline on taxfree casinos, you may end up raising a number of several red flags when you arrive at the shops in a Bugatti, Aston Martin, or even Ferrari La Ferrari. Maintaining accurate and up to date gambling records is the surest way of proving to the authorities that you have not been hiding any income coming from taxable sources.

Taxation of Online Gambling for Companies Based in the United Kingdom

Taxation of online gambling in Britain for companies based in the country tends to fall under various duty-related categories. Although it is normal to assume that a game like Bingo would automatically fall under Bingo Duty, this is not the case. The game is in reality categorised as a Remote Gaming Duty.

For this, UK betting companies offering a bingo platform will be taxed fifteen percent of all their profits. The same applies for all online gaming casinos. Lotteries, for instance, are classified under Lottery Duty. This means that the UK-based betting company will need to pay twelve percent of all stake money that has been played.

How to Make Sense of UK Gambling Taxes


When it comes to gambling tax on UK taxfree casinos, it will be important to note that:

  • United Kingdom gamblers do not pay any kind of tax on their gambling winnings.
  • The tax codes in place at the moment apply to both online and offline betting platforms.
  • The betting duty that was previously in place was abolished in 2001.
  • If you are gambling outside the UK, then you may find yourself having to pay foreign tax laws.
  • Gambling websites and taxfree casinos are now required to pay a fifteen percent levy on all their profits.
  • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs places no distinction between amateur and professional gamblers or players.
  • According to the research conducted by casino advisers, the government earned a total of 2.7billion pounds in the form of gambling duties in the 2016/17 fiscal year.

Casino Advisers Take Away

Under United Kingdom laws, non-UK companies that provide gaming or betting services to UK residents have to register with her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. In addition, the companies are also required to remit taxes to the regime. There are, however, a few exemptions depending on the category under which the games they are offering have been classified in.