Gaming and Games in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • HM Revenue and Customs v The Rank Group
    • Chancery Division
    • 08 Jun 2009

    Like the Tribunal I would hold that the random generation of a number in a separate unit which serves various player terminals (which may themselves be running different games) is properly regarded as an external event and not one produced by the machine that the player is playing. Like the Tribunal I do not think it is possible to elaborate further.

    Once it is held that there are games of chance played on “gaming machines” (the supply of which is subject to VAT) and there are games of chance played on machines that are not “gaming machines” (which are not subject to VAT), it is apparent that a breach of the principle of fiscal neutrality may have occurred. Applying the principles outlined above I would again hold that there was such a breach.

  • C.H.T. Ltd v Ward
    • Court of Appeal
    • 07 Nov 1963

    People do not game in order to win chips. They are mere counters or symbols used for the convenience of all concerned in the gaming. If actual money were lent to the defendant in order to game and the game were played for cash, the defendant would pay her own losses in cash and the plaintiffs would be under no obligation to pay anything to the winners.

  • The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”) v London Clubs Management Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 09 Oct 2018

    It is, in my judgment, counter-intuitive in such circumstances to characterise what is essentially an item of the casino's own expenditure as part of the banker's profits or as a stake having a value in money or money's worth. In no sense could the face value of a Non-Neg, or even the value to the player calculated by reference to the chances of winning, feature as a receipt in a casino's accounts or be said to contribute to its gross profits.

    For that reason taken on its own, I would not regard a Non-Neg as being a stake which was required to be taken into account in the calculation of gross gaming yield as defined under section 11(8) or of banker's profits as referred to or defined under section 11(8)(b)) or section 11(10).

  • The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs v The Rank Group Plc
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 30 Oct 2013

    If this is right, it follows in my view, and for like reasons, that a purpose built system comprising a terminal with a separate, but connected, RNG is also properly characterised as a 'machine'. The terminal cannot be used for gaming purposes except by being linked to the RNG; and the RNG is designed to be linked to the terminal in order to enable the game to be played.

    If right so far, I also do not understand why the multi-terminal systems should be treated any differently. The fact that there is only one RNG serving several terminals cannot make a material difference. In substance, the systems are exactly the same as in both previous configurations. By like reasoning, I cannot see why each terminal and the single RNG do not together constitute a machine within section 26.

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Legislation
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Gaming the gamer? – The ethics of exploiting psychological research in video games
    • Nbr. 14-2, May 2016
    • Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society
    • 106-123
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the ethical implications of video game companies employing psychologists and using psychological research in game design. Design/methodology/ap...
  • Depressive symptoms associations with online and in person networks in an online gaming community: a pilot study
    • Nbr. 25-1, March 2020
    • Mental Health Review Journal
    • 21-33
    Purpose: Increases in video game use have led to mental health concerns, citing greater risk for depressive symptoms (DS) and reduced “in-real-life” (IRL) social involvement. However, recent studie...
    ......However, recentstudies have uncoveredpotential social benefits for online gaming. Many games provide avenues toextend real life relationships and make new online friendships. The pu rpose of this pilot study is touse social network analysis ......
  • Factors influencing user trust in online games
    • Nbr. 23-5, October 2005
    • The Electronic Library
    • 533-538
    Purpose: This paper aims to provide a theoretical overview of the factors influencing user trust in online games. It offers a set of guidelines that help online game marketers to better understand ...
    ......Inparticular, it examines a user’s perceptions about the company, the online gaming site, and anindividual game.Findings – A number of factors influencing user trust in online games are largely within the controlof the company ......
  • Documenting virtual world cultures. Memory-making and documentary practices in the City of Heroes community
    • Nbr. 71-2, March 2015
    • Journal of Documentation
    • 294-316
    Purpose: – The purpose of this paper is to explore how virtual world communities employ new media as a repository to record information about their past. Design/methodology/approach: – Using the n...
    ......, informing community action and viewpoints.Originality/value –Games and gaming practices are increasingly prevalent in leisure andprofessional ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • App Developer Wins in SCRABBLE Battle
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    Zynga, the world’s largest app-developer has scored a win against the owner of the SCRABBLE brand. This case brings up several interesting points about international trade-mark protection in the er...
  • Playing Fair? UK’s OFT Investigates Online and App-Based Games
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    On April 12, 2013, the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the UK regulator for consumer affairs and competition, announced that it was launching an investigation into children’s web- and app-based ...
    ......Should parents be expected to take more control over their children’s gaming activities or should providers be required to do more, e.g., by providing more information warning users on the nature of these “freemium” apps ......
  • Weekly Web Wrap-Up: May 17, 2016
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
    Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Game...
    ......-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & ......
  • PE Goes Gaming
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    Despite certain regulatory and challenges, PE buyers will likely see more investment opportunities in the gaming industry. The global gaming market reached a valuation of US$135.8 billion in 2020, ...
    ...... recent examples include Carlyle’s acquisition of Jagex (Runescape and other titles) and Synova Capital’s sale of its position in Tonic Games (Fall Guys / Ultimate Knockout), both of which we advised on. While the gaming sector has benefitted from COVID-19 precipitated changes to consumer ......
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