Pub quiz machines escape tax

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Game, Skill, Hmrc

Pub quiz machines based on Monopoly and Cluedo are games of skill and not liable for machine tax, the government has ruled. HM Revenue and Customs...

Pub quiz machines based on Monopoly and Cluedo are games of skill and not liable for machine tax, the government has ruled​.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Treasury have been looking at amusement machine licence duty (AMLD) for skill with prize (SWP) machines, after a review was launched under the last government.

The British Beer & Pub Association had warned changing the duty system could cost the industry £85m, as it would turn people onto fruit machines.

But HMRC has ruled that Monopoly and Cluedo quiz machines both rely on skill and have no "element of chance", making them exempt from duty.

Other similar quiz machines based on skill should also avoid duty.

"HMRC is content for business to use the same reasoning to determine if similar games might also be outside the scope of AMLD," a statement from HMRC and the Treasury said.

"If there are cases of genuine doubt HMRC is willing to consider requests for rulings."

Plans were also in place to make the tax retrospective for the last three years, if the government decided these quiz machines should be taxed. But this has now been avoided.

HMRC has also published new guidance on the precise definition of a SWP game. Among the criteria are that a game must be a "test of skill such as knowledge, dexterity, visual recognition, logic, memory, reaction, hand-to-eye co-ordination, numerical and lexical ability, or a mixture of any of these skills".

Related topics: Entertainment

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