Betting and gaming

The last few years have seen a significant period of change in the gaming industry from a structural and regulatory point of view.

The growing importance of online and mobile channels has led to many European jurisdictions regulating (or re-regulating) gaming legislation (which in many cases has not historically accounted for online gaming activity).

European jurisdictions have taken a wide range of approaches with regards to how to regulate and tax online gaming (with some tax regimes being criticised and in some cases legally challenged by operators as being anti-competitive).

In the UK, new regulations have been introduced by the UK Gambling Commission in 2014. In addition, a point of consumption tax (POC) called the remote gaming duty (RGD) of 15% has been introduced by HMRC from 1 December 2014 and is payable on all bets made by UK customers irrespective of where the online operator is located.  This has had an impact on operators who moved their operations offshore to territories such as Gibraltar and Malta and were as such exempt from paying betting duties in the UK previously. 

Operators are under more pressure due to the increased cost of compliance and additional betting duties payable.  This pressure is deemed to drive some of the merger and acquisition activity that we have been helping clients with and we expect M&A activity to increase.

Our UK gaming practice acts as a centre of excellence for our global network, and provides industry-focused assurance, tax, and advisory services to businesses across the gaming industry.

Our experience in the gaming sector includes multiple engagements where we have provided:

  • commercial, financial and operational due diligence services;
  • strategic advice and market reviews;
  • consulting advice to regulators and operators on license bids and tender processes;
  • assurance services both audit and risk assurance for bricks and mortar and online;
  • tax consulting;
  • external and internal audits;
  • advice in all aspects of Financial Regulatory Compliance, Controls, IT security and fraud investigations; and
  • guidance on the application of the Fourth EU Money Laundering directive and provision of enhanced due diligence procedures.

Clients include numerous gambling operators (casino, gaming machine, bingo and online gambling operators among others), software suppliers to the industry, financial institutions, and public bodies in various countries (including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Eastern Europe, South Africa, Macau, Canada, and the U.S.).