UK Casinos Face £5M Annual ‘Stealth Tax’ from Government Duty Freeze
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has raised a red flag against the UK government’s recent economic move, labeling it as a stealth tax raid on the casino industry. This action, which comes amidst various economic pressures, is anticipated to impose an additional £5 million burden on casinos annually.
The crux of the issue lies in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn statement, where he announced the freezing of gaming duty bands. Contrary to the land-based casino sector’s expectations of an adjustment in line with inflation, the bands have remained unchanged since March. According to the BGC, this decision effectively translates into a £25 million tax hike over the next five years, posing significant challenges for an industry already grappling with rising wages and high inflation rates.
Michael Dugher, CEO of the BGC, warns that this covert tax could stifle the sector’s recovery and future growth. He urges a policy revision, emphasizing the missed opportunity to bolster a sector poised to generate jobs and investment nationwide.
Casinos, pivotal in tourism and hospitality, contribute approximately £300 million in taxes annually, with a broader economic footprint of around £800 million per year. However, the industry has been reeling from the cost-of-living crisis and other economic hardships. The BGC points out the closure of four casinos in recent months and a 25% reduction in workforce compared to four years ago. Since 2005, one in four casinos have shuttered, leaving just 117 operating in the country.
While the BGC supports the government’s gambling white paper, particularly regarding casino reforms, it stresses the urgency of implementing these reforms to facilitate hiring and growth within the sector. The white paper’s proposals cover affordability checks, sports betting, and machine numbers, all crucial for the industry’s viability.
In related news, Chancellor Hunt’s Autumn Statement also hinted at a consultation to unify the structure of remote gambling taxation. The current system comprises three taxes: remote gaming duty, general betting duty, and pool betting duty. This consultation aims to simplify the tax structure, affecting gambling offered via the internet, telephone, TV, and radio.
As the industry navigates these regulatory and economic challenges, the BGC’s call for a re-think on gaming duty bands and the swift implementation of proposed reforms becomes increasingly critical for the survival and prosperity of the UK’s casino sector.
SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator Sees 2.6x Surge in Bets: 2023 Report
In a dynamic year for the iGaming industry, the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator has released its 2023 report, offering insights into significant trends and achievements.
Notably, the report reveals a staggering 2.6 times increase in bets participating in jackpots, shedding light on the growing appeal of these mechanics among operators and players alike.
A Year of Remarkable Growth
Throughout 2023, bets participating in jackpots experienced consistent quarterly growth, witnessing a remarkable 165% increase from January to December. By the end of the year, the total value of these bets had surged to an impressive 6.396 billion euros. Moreover, the number of jackpot campaigns witnessed a substantial growth of 3.8 times compared to the previous year, totaling 230 campaigns.
Expanding Reach and Impact
One of the standout achievements of 2023 was the expansion of the Jackpot Aggregator’s footprint. The number of brands utilizing its jackpot solution tripled within the year, culminating in over 70 active brands by year-end. This surge in adoption reflects a heightened level of market trust and interest in the product.
Introducing the Prime Jackpot Campaign
A significant milestone of 2023 was the introduction of the Prime Jackpot campaign, which debuted in Q4. This innovative feature garnered considerable attention and interest from players across various casinos. The Prime Jackpot campaign allows operators to participate in shared prize pools, ensuring that rewards are drawn from the collective pool rather than from a specific brand operator. This approach not only offers larger rewards to attract more players but also enhances player engagement and loyalty while optimizing operational costs for operators.
Insights from SOFTSWISS
Aliaksei Douhin, Head of SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator, shared his insights into the year’s achievements. He emphasized the noticeable increase in clients and connected casino brands, as well as the growing volume and value of bets in jackpots. He expressed satisfaction in witnessing clients actively embracing the Jackpot Aggregator and recognizing the added value it brings to their brand operations. The solution empowers operators to provide players with enhanced gaming experiences and more enticing winnings. Client feedback is actively collected and analyzed to ensure clients have access to the most sought-after tools and mechanics.
Looking Ahead to 2024
In 2024, the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator is set to extend its reach to a wider spectrum of clients. This expansion will be guided by a customized approach, ensuring that each client can tailor the product’s capabilities to meet their specific requirements.
Meet SOFTSWISS at ICE London
The SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator team will be present at ICE London from February 6th to 8th, 2024. They are ready to showcase their latest advancements and engage in discussions with existing and potential clients.
SOFTSWISS is a renowned international iGaming company that offers certified software solutions for managing gambling operations. With a dedicated team of over 2000 employees spread across Malta, Poland, and Georgia, SOFTSWISS holds multiple gaming licenses and provides comprehensive iGaming software solutions. Their diverse product portfolio includes the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator featuring thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook software, and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS made history by introducing the world’s first Bitcoin-optimized online casino solution.