HC Deb 15 January 1998 vol 304 c478
9. Mr. Dismore

If he will make a statement concerning the taxation of the casino industry. [21059]

Dawn Primarolo

The gross gaming yield of a casino is liable to gaming duty.

Gaming duty is a tiered duty which ranges from 2½ per cent. to 33 1/3 per cent. The duty receipts for 1996–97 from casinos were £79 million.

Mr. Dismore

Does my hon. Friend agree that there has been no major review of casino taxation for 20 years, since the royal commission? Does she agree that we should try as far as possible to ensure a level playing field between different forms of gambling? If casinos were taxed on the same basis as bookmakers—6.75 per cent. of bets placed, rather than the sliding scale that she mentioned, which is based on bets less winnings—instead of the £79 million that she mentioned for last year, the Exchequer would have recovered £175 million out of total bets of £2.6 billion. Is it not time that we examined the matter to ensure fair play between the casino industry and the country?

Dawn Primarolo

Gaming duty was introduced on 1 October 1997 after a period of consultation. The tiered rate on casinos is based on the tax set before the new regime to ensure a fair return to the Exchequer. The gross gaming yield is the most efficient way to tax the industry. So far this year, with a quarter to go, £70 million has been raised. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor constantly reviews the relationship of all the taxes to ensure that they are set at a level that is acceptable to the industry and the Exchequer.

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