Free Play Tax
On 16th March this year the 2016 Budget was delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Everybody will be affected in someone way by this budget, some for the better and others will be worse off. One of the groups that are likely to be worse of are the online bingo players and the reason, Mr. Osborne has opted to bring ‘Remote Gaming Duty into line with the tax treatment of free bets in General Betting Duty’.
It was in December 2014 that we saw the introduction of the Point of Consumption Tax, a 15% cost to all operators based on where the player was located. This new Remote Gambling tax will see the 15% applied to free bets too.
The Impact On Bingo Bonuses
This will have an impact on how bingo bonuses are offered to players and likely change the whole playing field of bonuses.
Of course, we can only speculate as to how the operators are going to deal with the introduction of this tax but we suspect we are going to see a substantial drop in the free play bonuses given.
In the first instance, we believe that we will see operators who currently offer a no deposit required bonus remove these deals. A wise move when you consider how many bonus hunters this type of offer attracts.
Whilst offering a £5 no deposit required bonus is appealing and gives the player the chance to ‘try before they buy’, if the player it attracts is a bonus hunter with no interest whatsoever in depositing with the brand, it has incurred a cost of £0.75 with no possible ROI (Return on Investment).
We also suspect that we will see the deposit bonuses currently offered by all brands become more loyalty focused with the higher deals being given to the most loyal of players.
We’ll have to wait and see how the industry reacts but do expect some changes over the coming months.