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HMRC internal manual

VAT Betting and Gaming Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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UK VAT law

The relevant UK legal provision can be found at Schedule 9, Group 4 of the VAT Act 1994 which reads:

Group 4 - Betting, gaming and lotteries

Item No


The provision of any facilities for the placing of bets or for the playing of any games of chance for a prize.

1A The provision of any facilities for the playing of dutiable machine games (as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 24 to the Finance Act 2012) but only to the extent that-

(a)the facilities are used to play such games, and

(b)the takings and payouts in respect of those games are taken into account in determining the charge to machine games duty.


The granting of a right to take part in a lottery.


(1) Item 1 and 1A do not include-

  1. admission to any premises; or
  2. [omitted by Finance Act 2009, s.113(2);]
  3. the provision by a club of such facilities to its members as are available to them on payment of their subscription but without further charge;
  4. [omitted by FA 2012, s.191 and Sch. 24, para. 64(3)(b).]

(1A) Item 1 does not apply to the provision of facilities to the extent that the facilities are used to play a relevant machine game (as defined in section 23A).

(2)“Game of chance”-

  1. includes-
(i) a game that involves both an element of chance and an element of skill,

(ii) a game that involves an element of chance that can be eliminated by superlative skill, and

(iii) a game that is presented as involving an element of chance, but
  1. does not include a sport.

(3) A person plays a game of chance if he participates in a game of chance-

  1. whether or not there are other participants in the game, and
  2. whether or not a computer generates images or data taken to represent the actions of other participants in the game.

(4) “Prize” does not include the opportunity to play the game again.