Representatives of the British amusements trade body BACTA are meeting with Treasury minister Chloe Smith to plead for a reconsideration of the proposed Machine Games Duty (MGD), the levy which will next year replace the current Amusement Machine Licence Duty (AMLD).
Whereas AMLD is a simple per-machine fee, MGD is a two-tier tax on profits, and BACTA wants to see a higher rate of no more than 15 percent, along with a lower rate of three percent for games with a stake of 10p or less.
It is also asking for SWPs to be excluded from MGD, and for businesses to be allowed to offset against MGD any VAT that they cannot reclaim in other ways.
Said BACTA chief executive Leslie MacLeod-Miller: “Our meeting with Chloe Smith is critical. We urgently need her to show a level of real commitment to these small businesses and the jobs they provide. Previously, we have been told that the proposed changes on taxing amusement arcades will be revenue-neutral. The problem, however, is less the impact on the industry overall, but the uneven way in which it will likely affect arcade owners.
“The impact of tax is felt at an individual level by each and every business – the new tax structure can’t simply be revenue-neutral for the industry, it must be neutral for each and every owner. We hope that the minister will pledge to address this.”
Separately, Gala Coral chief executive Carl Leaver has told the government that the location of the group’s sportsbook is under “constant review” as pressure grows on the business from offshore operators paying lower tax rates.
“Right now there is no competitive advantage to being onshore other than, perhaps, securing a better relationship with racing,” he said. “And even that is debatable. We want to see all offshore gaming taxed in the same way and at the same level as onshore. If not, then there is no way we could continue to see ourselves disadvantaged in this way.”
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