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HMRC v Rank Group PLC

In HMRC v Rank Group PLC (CA – 30 October) the Rank group ran gaming machines. The issue was whether the takings from those machines benefitted from the VAT exemption available to the ‘provision of any facilities for the placement of bets’ (VATA 1994 Sch 4 Group 4 Item 1). This in turn depended on whether the machines fell within the exclusion to the exemption set out in Note 3 to Item 1. The exemption did not apply where ‘the element of chance in the game is provided by means of the machine’.

The appeal concerned multi-terminal systems in which several terminals (i.e. gaming machines) are served by a single remote ‘random number generator’ (RNG).

Contrary to the VAT and Duties Tribunal and the Court of Appeal (in its earlier decision) the Court of Appeal focused on the fact that the language of Note 3 had been imported...

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