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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Gambling

Question for Treasury

UIN 157364, tabled on 21 April 2022

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to help ensure that gambling companies pay back any money incorrectly allocated by his covid-19 furlough policies.

Answered on

26 April 2022

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was available to any employer providing they met the eligibility criteria.

HMRC designed the schemes to prevent fraud, both in the eligibility criteria and the claim process itself. HMRC also put in place a series of checks on claims before they were paid, so they blocked those that were highly indicative of criminal activity.

However, the Government and HMRC always knew they could be attractive to fraudulent behaviour and are taking tough action to tackle this. Anyone who keeps grant money, despite knowing they were not entitled to it, faces having to repay up to double the amount they received, plus interest and potential criminal prosecution.

Where claimants have made a genuine error, HMRC are supportive and reasonable in their approach to recovering overclaimed grants. Claimants are afforded the opportunity to put things right, without fear of sanctions.

All compliance activity is risk based and HMRC do not focus on particular sectors.

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