The UK government confirmed that gambling firms qualify for the business rates holiday. It was a move to reduce the effect of the shutdown due to the coronavirus. Last week, Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced several actions to help businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Some measured introduced by the government include exemption from paying business rates for a year. However, they didn’t include the gambling industry in the list of qualified sectors. The move drew criticisms from the Betting and Gaming Council.
However, the government announced on March 25 that casinos, bingo halls, and betting shops qualify for the holiday. The announcement came after the government ordered all betting shops, bingo halls, and casinos to close to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Business Rates Holiday
The UK government is working day and night to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Also, it needs to make sure that businesses get the help they need to protect thousands of jobs. The BGC told bookie pay per head reporters that most of the 70,000 people employed by the gambling industry are at risk of losing their jobs.
Many racing and sports organizers canceled their events. As a result, gambling activities dropped. The canceled events account for 75 percent of the sports betting handle in the UK. Based on pay per head reports, members of the BGC pay more than $3.5 billion in taxes annually. Also, they contribute hundreds of millions to horse racing and the tourism sector.
Aside from the job retention and business rates holiday schemes, land-based gambling firms also qualify for other measures implemented by the Chancellor. One of those measures is the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, that’s interest-free for a year. Also, the government deferred VAT payments for the next quarter for all businesses.