The ongoing progress of the retail gaming sector’s recovery has been recorded by HMRC statistics showing the amount of tax paid via Machine Gaming Duty increased by 32.7 percent for the 2021-2022 financial year, while the amount of bingo duty paid by operators increased by 100.3 percent.
Machine gaming duty receipts rose to £373m for the 2021- 2022 financial year, £92m and 32.7 percent higher than during the same period the previous year, according to HMRC statistics.
Bingo duty receipts show that main stage bingo’s return to normality has been even steeper, doubling from £8m to £16m over same timeframe. Together the statistics represent a strong recovery of a retail gaming sector that was ravaged by Covid restrictions in both 2020 and 2021, including during the first two months of the latest financial year. The receipts in April, May and June of 2021 together contributed less than £15m to MGD and less than £1m to bingo duty, but in July alone MGD receipts increased tenfold to £58m and bingo duty receipts almost hit £1.5m. The true turning point, however, began one month earlier, with receipts coming into HMRC one month after the money is recorded by operators. Interpreting the statistics in this way, June 2021 was the start of a recovery that has been sustained until the last recorded data in February 2022.
The receipts of the following six months will reveal just how complete the sector’s recovery has been, with the long term affects of the pandemic on retail yet to show. Meanwhile, both the sports betting and igaming sectors paid an increased amount of tax for the third year in a row in the latest statistics from HMRC, representing a continued increase in revenue despite the pandemic.
As the upcoming gambling review grows ever closer, this shows the areas of the gambling industry that the government must protect, and those it could potentially take more from. Retail’s fragile recovery must be protected, and with the country needing all the tax it can get, the industry as a whole should be allowed to thrive responsibly – but those unburdened by high costs could contribute slightly more.