Sky Betting and Gaming Tax Strategy

Taxation is an important area of focus for Sky Betting and Gaming (“Sky Bet”). We are proud of our track record as a UK based digital business, contributing to the economy in Yorkshire and the United Kingdom where our primary operations are based. The articulation of our tax strategy allows us to share the building blocks of our approach to taxation with our key stakeholders.

This tax strategy has been approved by the CFO of Sky Bet and will be reviewed on an annual basis. It is effective for the year ended 30 June 2018 and is published in accordance with para 16(2) Schedule 19 Finance Act 2016. The strategy applies to all companies within the Sky Bet group.

The Betting and Gaming industry is subject to high levels of taxation, forming a significant cost component for the business. The group is subject to a wide range of taxes and duties including;

  • Taxes on betting and gaming revenue
  • Corporate income taxes
  • Payroll tax and social security on employee’s salaries
  • Irrecoverable VAT
  • Other business taxes

Betting and Gaming is a heavily regulated industry, and it remains critical to our continued business success to remain compliant not only with the regulatory rules, but also with the taxation regime that accompanies our industry in each country in which we operate.

Approach to tax risk management and governance

The board take overall responsibility for risk management, which includes tax risk management. The CFO, who is also the appointed Senior Accounting Officer (SAO), has established a tax department with primary responsibility for the day to day tax risk management within the business. The tax department comprises qualified professionals with a range of skills and experience to manage the complex tax issues faced by the business.

The tax department operate within a risk management and governance framework. Processes are documented and controls have been established to ensure an appropriate level of assurance over the tax compliance and reporting function.

The tax department maintain a departmental risk register which feeds into the wider risk management framework. The overall risk management framework is monitored by Internal Audit who report to Senior Management and the Board.

The tax department are responsible for compliance with tax payment and filing responsibilities, as well as the reporting of taxation matters within our financial statements. The Finance team also play a key role in the compliance and reporting process.

Taxation is considered in all key business decisions. The tax team partner with the business, and are close collaborators in the direction and strategy of the business in order to minimise any tax risk and associated tax costs.

Education is a key tool in ensuring tax risk is managed across the business, and the tax team work closely with key areas such as Finance, Procurement, Legal and HR to ensure the necessary level of awareness of the tax matters which are pertinent to our business.

Attitude to tax planning and appetite for risk in tax planning

Sky Bet are committed to contributing to the UK economy and the Northern Powerhouse in which we are based. We pay the right amount of tax, at the right time under the laws that are in place in the countries in which we operate and where our customers are based.

As a successful digital business we value the ability to access any incentives or reliefs which are designed to support the expansion of UK based businesses. We therefore ensure that we make appropriate use of innovation reliefs such as research and development tax credits, which are specifically designed to incentivise UK based technology companies such as ours.

We seek to structure our business activities in a manner which optimises the return to our shareholders, whilst fully complying with the applicable legislation. SBG has a low appetite for tax risk.  We do not seek to undertake any aggressive tax planning. Any tax planning undertaken is aligned with commercial and economic activity and does not lead to an abusive result. There is no specific internal governance prescription as to the level of acceptable risk. The Board are consulted on specific areas of material tax risk as and when they arise, and a view is formed on a case by case basis. 

Partnering to manage tax risk

We seek to have an open, constructive, transparent and real time dialogue with HMRC and value the principles of cooperative compliance. We actively flag areas of uncertainty to HMRC and seek agreement to any matters of debate. Any mistakes within returns are fully disclosed and notified to the relevant tax authority on a timely basis.  We value certainty with respect to our taxation position.

We welcome constructive debate on the development of tax policies and legislation and believe we have a responsibility to actively engage in consultation processes and look to assist HMRC, HMT and the OECD in developing new legislation.

Sky Bet work closely with professional advisors where there is uncertainty as to the application or interpretation of tax law.

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