Sportech VAT repayment appeal hearing postponed

Sportech has been told that a “lack of judicial availability” will mean that its appeal over a VAT repayment claim, due to be heard this week, has been postponed.

Back in February, the pools and sports betting operator said that its hearing at the UK’s Court of Appeal had been scheduled for the week commencing November 2.

However, the company said in a statement today (Monday) that the hearing, which relates to its ‘Spot the Ball’ game and was expected to take between one and one-and-a-half days, will not be heard this week after all.

“Sportech has been advised that the hearing of its appeal to the Court of Appeal, in relation to the £97 million (€136m/$150m) VAT repayment claim on the ‘Spot the Ball’ game, due to be heard this week, has been delayed due to a lack of judicial availability,” Sportech said.

“The Court of Appeal will now schedule a new hearing date and the Group will provide shareholders with an update accordingly.”

The delay will frustrate Sportech, with the saga having dragged on for more than five years.

In 2013, the First-Tier Tribunal ruled in favour of Sportech in a VAT case relating to the game, with the operator receiving a payment of £93 million from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

This decision was reversed in September 2014 when Sportech was ordered to repay the money following an appeal lodged by HMRC, but Sportech was granted permission to appeal against the decision in January of this year.

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