PROFESSIONAL GAMBLING

Award Winning
London-Based
Immigration Tax Advisors

WHAT IS PROFESSIONAL GAMBLING?

It means earning your livelihood from gambling activities. These betting activities might include betting on sports, playing poker, or any casino games. 

WHAT IS GAMBLING INCOME? 

Gambling income is any money that is generated from games of chance or wagers on events with uncertain outcomes. 

IS GAMBLING TAXABLE IN THE UK?

No, gambling is tax free in the UK. While players in some countries such as the USA, France, and Macau have to deal with gambling taxes between 1% and 25%, bettors in the United Kingdom have the privilege of keeping the entirety of their winnings.

If you live in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, your gambling winnings are tax free whether you play live or on the internet. 

ARE PROFESSIONAL GAMBLERS TAXED ON THEIR WINNINGS?

No – HM Revenue and Customs do not make a distinction between casual and professional players. Even if this may be subject to change in the future, at the present time gambling isn’t a recognised trade. 

If you are a professional poker player, chances are you’ve already consulted with an accountant. Even so, there are a couple of points to consider. If you play outside of Britain, you may have to deal with local taxes. For example, if you win money in Las Vegas you could be subject to a federal withholding tax, although you can often apply for a refund as a non-resident. Also, if you become a poker celebrity and get paid for public appearances or representing an online cardroom, you could be subject to taxes but not on your winnings. 

WHY DO YOU NEED TO KEEP RECORDS OF YOUR PLAY?

Although you don’t need to declare your gambling income on your tax return in the United Kingdom, successful poker players and other professional bettors often maintain personal records of their wins and losses. While this might seem like a waste of time since your winnings are tax free, there are a couple of benefits to keeping some sort of performance log. 

It’s always smart to know how much you actually spend and win while gambling. Don’t you want to know how much profit you’ve made after you factor in your losses and other expenses like travel, meals, and lodging? If gambling is your sole source of income, you could end up raising several red flags if you drive to the shops in an Aston Martin. Having gambling records will be ample proof that you aren’t hiding income from taxable sources.

If you require any further information, please feel free to contact us.