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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Debt and return pursuit: Excise Duties (other than APD): Who is liable to pay the debt? Gaming Duty

Gaming Duty is charged on the gross gaming yield from dutiable gaming in registeredcasinos. Any provider of dutiable gaming must register for gaming duty, which should be atleast 14 days before gaming starts.

The registered provider

Section 116 (1) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (CEMA 1979) provides:

“Every revenue trader shall pay any of excise payable in respect of his trade at orwithin such time, at such place and to such person as the Commissioners may direct whetheror not payment of that duty has been secured by bond or otherwise.”

Regulation 4 of the Gaming Duty Regulations 1997 [S.I 1997/2196], provides:

“For every quarter every registered provider shall make a payment on account of theduty that is likely to be chargeable on any premises of which he is the provider.”

Registered providers of dutiable gaming are required to make four returns a year. In each6- month accounting period, registered providers must render 2 returns with payment. Thefirst return, after 3-months, is an estimate of the duty likely to be due at the end ofthe first 6- month period, and the estimated amount must be paid with the return. If theestimated amount is not paid we can enforce the debt under s.12 (4) of the Finance Act1997 that provides:

“The Commissioners may by regulations impose obligations on any of the personsmentioned in subsection (1) above requiring them to make payments on account of any gamingduty that is likely to be chargeable on any premises.”

Section12 (6) of the Act provides:

“(6) Where, in accordance with any regulations under subsection (4) above, any amounthas become payable on account of gaming duty by any person, that amount shall be deemed -

(a) for the purposes of Section 12 of the Finance Act 1994 (assessments to excise duty),to be an amount which has become due from that person in respect of gaming duty;

(b) for the purposes of section 116 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (timeand place, etc for payment of excise duty), to be an amount of gaming duty that has becomepayable; and

(c) for the purposes of subsection (5) above, sections 51 and 52 below and section 137(1)of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (recovery of duty), to be an amount ofgaming duty due from that person;

and an amount paid on account of gaming duty shall be deemed for the purposes of section137A of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (recovery of overpaid duty) to be anamount paid by way of that duty.”

At the end of the 6 months, the registered provider renders a second return showing whatis actually due in the 6-month accounting period, paying any balance due. The due date forany return is 1 month from the end of the accounting period (paragraph 10 of Schedule 1 tothe Finance Act 1997, and Notice 453 Gaming Duty).

Other persons liable to pay the duty

If the registered provider fails to pay the duty due, the following persons are liablejointly and severally for the unpaid duty, as section 12 (1) of the Finance Act 1997,provides:

“The liability to pay the gaming duty charged on any premises for any accountingperiod shall fall jointly and severally on –

(a) every person who is a provider of the premises at a time in that period when dutiablegaming takes place there;

(b) every person concerned in the organisation or management of any dutiable gaming takingplace on those premises in that period;

(c) where any of the persons mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) above is a body corporatethat is treated as a member of a group for the purposes of Part I of Schedule 1 to thisAct, every body corporate that is treated as a member of that group for those purposes;and

(d) where any of the persons mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c) above is a body corporate,every director of that body.

(2) A person shall for the purposes of this section be conclusively presumed to be aprovider of premises at any time if at that time –

(a) he is registered on the gaming duty register, and

(b) those premises are specified in his entry on that register.”

DMO activity

It is policy to pursue the provider first. If the provider fails to pay, or cannot pay,and the person jointly and severally liable for the debt is a company, pursue the companyand the working directors at the same time.

Notify non-working directors of their liability to pay if the working directors do notpay; and do not pursue managers who:

  • are not responsible for accruing the arrears
  • did not obtain any financial benefit in relation to the debt or
  • have insufficient assets to make civil recovery worthwhile.

The Debt Management Unit will help you decide who to pursue for the debt in thecircumstances of the case.