The Budget hits bookies

Britain's bookmakers took a blow when the Chancellor imposed licence fees on their betting machines, a move that will cost the industry tens of millions of pounds, and increased the tax on slot machines at arcades and clubs.

From 1 August, bookies will have to pay an annual licence duty of £1,965 per machine on electronic Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, on top of VAT. There are about 20,000 FOBT across the UK.

Gordon Brown also set an annual duty of £5,000 on the new unlimited-stake and prize machines that will be allowed in Britain's one proposed super casino.

Annual taxes also increased to between £735 and £2,500 per machine for arcades, bingo halls, casinos, clubs and pubs.

Editor, - 2006-03-23 18:04:50

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