17th June 2020


Dear Member



Thanks to all members who joined the Division 3 call to hear about our ongoing campaign to get AGCs in England open ASAP following the Government’s outrageous decision last week to keep our shutters down. The fight goes on and thank you for writing to MPs. It really helps.  We have a further meeting with DCMS Minister Nigel Huddleston MP tomorrow afternoon. I will give you an update after that. 


In Scotland we are awaiting the First Minister’s announcement tomorrow on what businesses can reopen. It has already been flagged that Phase 2 in Scotland will include small retail. We shall find out more detail then. 




Below is a letter I received yesterday from HMRC for your information. 


Dear John


We would appreciate your help in cascading messages regarding Machine Games Duty (MGD) Machine Games Duty to your stakeholders in light of the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 You’ll be aware that MGD is a tax on the profits form gaming machines etc and that is payable by the person responsible for premises on which machines are located.

 Businesses must file their MGD return and make their payment within 30 days of the end of their accounting period. An accounting period is 3 months unless a different accounting period has been arranged with HMRC. Businesses who don’t file their return on time get a central assessment letter (CA) from HMRC. CAs give an amount due (which has been automatically calculated using historic data) and demand immediate payment. This letter is sent through an automated system. The next batch of CAs are due to be sent to businesses this week.

 Our hope in sending out CAs is that the businesses receiving them will file a return for what they correctly owe and pay that amount.  We don’t want businesses to pay the amount of the CA if that isn’t what they owe. Due to the COVID-19 situation we realise that there may be good reason for businesses not sending their return on time and, if businesses are closed, it is likely they will not have any tax to declare. However, it’s important that HMRC receive these returns even if the tax due is nil. 

 Businesses do not need to use a HMRC-issued return – they can download a blank return to complete online or alternatively they can sign-up for our online services and submit the return online. More information about this can be found on GOV.UK. We would appreciate your assistance in cascading this message to your stakeholders, especially those who are responsible for premises on which gaming machines etc are located.

 We would also like to let you know about Time to Pay for those having problems paying their tax because of COVID-19. If businesses cannot pay their tax because of COVID-19, we can agree ‘time to pay’ arrangements with them. We agree these on a case-by-case basis and tailor them to meet their circumstances. We’ve set up a dedicated helpline for dealing with time to pay arrangements. If businesses need help or want to talk about their options, they can phone us on 0800 024 1222. More information on this can be found on GOV.UK


Kind regards,



Please do call with any questions or thoughts. 


Kind regards



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