Ladbrokes ordered to pay £71m to HMRC

Sports Betting

Ladbrokes has been ordered to pay £71m after losing a court case over a controversial tax-avoidance programme.

The bookie and its accountant Deloitte cooked up a scheme in which it appeared to lose money, allowing it to pay less tax.

The plot involved artificially creating a fall in the value of shares at one of its companies, Ladbrokes International and Travel Document Service, leading to a loss for tax purposes.

No real money was lost. The Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber has now ruled against the scheme.

Jennie Granger, from HMRC, said: ‘The bookie gambled and lost when the odds of success could not have been lower.’ Ladbrokes said it was considering its options.