The traditional offline bookmakers have already suffered from the web taking over as the core gambling niche. Now, it looks like their casino operations are going to take a hit, not from online casinos but from the dreaded tax man! In a ‘jackpot crack down’, the government plan on raiding casino machines found in high street betting shops. This week’s budget is set to instantly re-coup the profits gained by the companies on the back of the recent 100-1 shock winner of the Grand National, Mon Mome. At the moment, in-shop casino machines are taxed at a rate of around £2100 per year.
Casino industry experts forecast the taxable rate may well be increased to 20% and thinks the government are looking at the casino machines like hawks. Unfortunately for the bookmaking industry, casino machines have been their main flow of profit since the web stole a huge chunk of its custom. Last year the big two, Ladbrokes and William Hill, between them made more than £500 million from in-shop casino machines. The average betting outlet is scooping around £2500 in profit per week from casino gaming machines, that’s a cool £125,000 with a tax rate of 7%. No wonder the government are set to take their share.