02 January 2013 10:25

 HM Revenue & Customs

There are just a few days left for bookmakers, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, pubs, clubs and other venues operating gaming machines to register for Machine Games Duty (MGD).

MGD comes into effect in four weeks’ time, on 1 February 2013. Under the new tax regime, anyone responsible for premises from which gaming machines are provided for play must register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by Friday 11 January 2013.

The new tax will be payable where customers pay to play a game on a machine in the hope of winning a cash prize which is greater than the cost to play. It will replace both Amusement Machine Licence Duty (AMLD) – an annual charge for making a gaming machine available for play – and standard-rate VAT on net takings.

Affected businesses that continue to operate from 1 February onwards without having completed the registration process could face a penalty of up to 100 per cent of the tax due. Penalties may be issued even where no tax is due.

While HMRC will make every effort to process late registrations, it is warning operators that it cannot guarantee that applications received after 11 January will be processed by 1 February. So, registering by 11 January is the only way for a business to guarantee that it won’t be hit with a penalty.

With the deadline so close, HMRC is strongly advising operators that the simplest, quickest and most secure way to register is via its MGD Online Registration Service. This has the big advantage of giving an immediate on-screen acknowledgement that HMRC has received the application. Registering is simple – visit and follow the instructions.

For more information on Machine Games Duty, visit the HMRC website at