In the English Bridge Union v HMRC (Case C-90/16) the EU’s Advocate General has formed an opinion that contract bridge is a sport for VAT purposes.

The English Bridge Union (EBU) has taken the case in order to determine whether tournament entrance fees were exempt fo VAT under Principle VAT Directive article 132(1)(m) Services linked to sport. A request for a preliminary ruling was made to the EU court from the UK's Upper Tribunal.

The Advocate was not convinced the sport requires any physical element and that bridge is not a game of chance. The Olympic Committee also recognise Bridge as a sport.

This is a non-binding recommendation, but if confirmed later this year the EBU would no longer need to charge VAT on entry fees to its competitions, and would receive a rebate on VAT which it had previously paid.


Games around the world consider that gaming (whether board, digital or online) is a sport and so why not?


Advocate General opinion