Clause 115

Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:00 pm on 25th June 2009.

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Meaning of “gaming machine” and “gaming”

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands Shadow Minister (Treasury)

Clause 115 is purely technical and relates to the meaning of the terms “gaming machine” and “gaming”. The intention is to amend the definition of those terms in the Betting and Gaming Duties Act 1981 so that any cross-references to the definitions in that legislation are no longer required. Will the Minister clarify that it has no wider potential impact? If she can assure us of that, we will have no problem in supporting the clause. Can I also ask her briefly about a written parliamentary question on the subject of taxation of gaming machines? A question was tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for North-East Cambridgeshire (Mr. Moss), and the Minister’s predecessor, the hon. Member for Burnley (Kitty Ussher) said:

“An impact assessment, including an assessment of compatibility with Hampton principles, will be published alongside the consultation document on moving gaming machines taxation to a gross profits regime. We expect to publish these before the summer recess.”—[Official Report, 15 June 2009; Vol. 494, c. 54W.]

Photo of Peter Atkinson Peter Atkinson Conservative, Hexham

Order. I am listening carefully to the hon. Gentleman and he seems to be straying very wide of the clause, which deals with the meaning of “gaming machine” and “gaming”.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands Shadow Minister (Treasury)

I accept your ruling, Mr. Atkinson, and I will try to raise the point on another occasion.

Photo of Sarah McCarthy-Fry Sarah McCarthy-Fry Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury

It may please the Committee to hear that this is the final clause on gambling taxation in this year’s Finance Bill. We have had interesting debates in the proceedings that I have been involved in. The first part of the clause concerns the excise definition of a gaming machine, the second the definition of gaming. At present, the definitions read from the VAT law. The clause amends the Betting and Gaming Duties Act 1981, so that it contains statutory definitions of “gaming machine” and “gaming”. The change simplifies and clarifies this area of the gambling tax legislation and I am pleased to confirm that, beyond the clarification, there will be no impact on the industry.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 115 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.