Gambling is a stunningly popular activity in Wales. Thanks to liberalisation of gambling legislation in 2008 (and abolishment of the tax laws in 2001), all forms of gambling – sports, casino, online- have seen a great boom in the last ten years. It is reported that the country’s gamblers pay over £1.5bn to gambling machines only in Wales every year (that’s around £650 for every adult gambler).

The authorities are not entirely happy with this development, so it might be helpful to have an idea of some of the regulations guiding the industry. Read on…

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It might interest you to know that all gambling winnings in Wales (and the UK) are entirely tax-free! Unbelievable, right? It is unfathomable how the lawmakers just let this happen given their appetite for sin tax, but that’s how it is. They seem to have an increasing urge to throw an uncomfortable spanner in the works, so why not enjoy a good gamble while the leeway lasts?

The most logical explanation for this liberal stance is that the gambling entities themselves pay an arm and a leg in terms of license fees and taxes (15%?), but it still is a surprise that they have not tried to discourage gamblers directly.

Online gambling

While physical casino gambling is easy to control through licensing and address visits, online gambling is an entirely different story. The main challenge here is to keep out underage gamblers. It is important to note that gambling is not permitted for persons under the age of 18. Do not allow minors to sign up and gamble using your details.

Another concern most gamblers have is whether it is legal to gamble in online sites that do not have a physical presence in the country. The answer is yes. A gambling house need not be physically located in Wales for gamblers to enjoy its online services. The issue of currency exchange for houses that use dollars, for instance, is a transaction between the gambler and the house.

Casual vs Professional gambling

The labour authority does not distinguish between hobby and professional gamblers; betting is not recognized as a trade- yet. Therefore, your winnings remain tax-free no matter what.

As a professional gambler, however, your money may be subjected to federal withholding tax overseas but you can reverse this by making an application. Earnings for an appearance on behalf of a gaming house as a professional gambler may be taxed as income, but not what you win through playing.

Gambling records

Does the law require you or the gaming house to keep records of your betting activities? The answer is no. Since winnings are not taxed, there is no need to maintain records. Also, it would be a double system since the gambling house’s general records are maintained in order to be audited for the 15% requisite tax.

You might, however, want to maintain such records for personal financial tracking and as proof that you are clean in case you happen to make a killing at the casino.

Keep looking here for any updates on gambling tips that you may need when playing.