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UK Bingo Firm Due a GBP25.9 Million Tax Refund

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While it’s not unusual for individuals and companies all over the world to
enjoy tax refunds for overpaying on their taxes, what is unusual is the size of
the tax refund leading UK bingo operation, the Rank Group, is owed by the
UK government, namely a whopping £25.9 million.

The Rank Group, which owns a string of land and online bingo halls including
Mecca Bingo, claims it is owed the enormous amount for overpaying on taxes on
its gaming machines between 2002 and 2005. This week a tribunal ruled that HM
Revenue & Customs must refund the Rank Group in full.

However, UK tax authorities are reportedly appealing the decision and the
hearing is scheduled for April next year. However, subject to the appeal, the
bingo firm is expected to receive its refund in the first quarter of 2010.

This comes at a time when the UK government is under fire from the gambling
industry for its exorbitant taxes and levies. The country’s bingo industry in
particular is opposed to VAT and high gross profits tax, saying it is unfairly
subjected to a higher tax rate compared to other forms of gambling.

But UK online betting companies have also been complaining about their high rate
of taxation. In fact this year two of the UK’s largest land and online gambling
and betting concerns, William Hill and Ladbrokes, moved their headquarters out
of the UK to the gambling-friendly jurisdiction The Isle of Man.

The Rank Group is a leading European gaming and betting company. Its businesses
include a number of established brands in gaming and leisure. Mecca Bingo is one
of the leading online bingo casinos in the UK and offers all manner of bingo
games, clubs and promotions.

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