UK government targets gambling industry with tax increases

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Elizabeth Truss stand outside 11 Downing Street before the Chancellor delivers his budget statement in the House of Commons in London, Britain, October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s finance minister Philip Hammond announced on Monday plans to increase taxes paid by offshore gambling companies from next year to offset lost tax revenue from cutting the amount that can be staked on fixed-odds betting terminals.

Hammond told parliament he plans to increase the so-called Remote Gaming Duty paid by overseas operators who offer online casino-type games such as blackjack to 21 percent from its current level of 15 percent.

“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.

Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; editing by Michael Holden