Sky Betting & Gaming CEO Richard Flint

Richard Flint, CEO of Sky Betting & Gaming, has said that government plans to increase Remote Gaming Duty are “a tax on jobs” in the company’s home county of Yorkshire.

Flint’s comments come in response to this morning’s announcement that the UK government is to increase RGD to make up for the loss of revenue created by the dramatic reduction in FOBT stakes, from £100 to £2.

Flint said: “Sky Betting & Gaming doesn’t have any FOBTs but now we – and Yorkshire’s economy – risk being punished because of them.

“Any increase in Remote Gaming Duty is a tax on hi-tech Yorkshire jobs. Our company is based in Leeds and has created nearly 1,000 roles in the last three years – with another 120 jobs to fill. Increasing an already heavy tax burden will clearly have an impact on our plans to create new jobs in the North of England in the years to come.”

UK RGD currently stands at 15 per cent. That will rise at the November budget, with speculation that the new rate will be 20 per cent.

“Rather than punishing a UK-based job creator, the government should focus on getting a fairer tax contribution from other tech companies who, unlike us, don’t already pay sufficient taxes on their UK activities.”

However, Flint did welcome some aspects of today’s announcement. “There are a number of wider proposals in today’s Gambling Review based around online safety which we welcome,” he said.