With one day to go before the Economic Crime Levy is implemented on 1 April 2023, the Gambling Commission yesterday published its initial guidance to the holders of all casino operating licences as the “Collecting Authority” for all UK casinos, both remote and non-remote. Remote casino licence holders based overseas will be required to calculate liability on the revenues derived from the UK market.

The levy was introduced in the Finance Act 2022. The Commission will require all holders of casino operating licences, which includes the holders of casino game host licences, to register and submit annual returns even if their turnover does not exceed £10.2m. 

The first payment falls due in July 2023 for the previous accounting period. The first annual levy payment must be made before 30 September 2023 and is based on the accounting period ending during the financial year 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

There are some important points to note, which are referenced in the guidance:

  • The levy is a turnover tax and therefore includes all revenues from all sources regardless of whether or not they are from gambling activities; in the case of landbased casinos this will include revenues from food and beverages;
  • The revenues are for all activities undertaken by the company that holds the casino operating licence. This would appear to capture other gambling activities authorised by a combined operating licence but is a point of detail that will need clarification;
  • As a turnover tax there can be no deduction for the payment of winnings and the calculation of liability will almost certainly draw in larger numbers of licence holders than if it was based on a gross gambling yield (GGY) basis.

Further guidance is to be issued by the Commission next month.