The professional gambler is always a contentious issue. It introduces an interesting quandary - if you can be taxed on your winnings, can you offset your losses? I suspect this is not a tempting prospect for HMRC considering most gamblers lose over the long term!
Initial point of reference would be HMRC's manual (BIM22017) which states:
This topic was discussed by the Court of Appeal recently in the Hakki case, where a professional poker player was being chased for child support.
The mother's lawyer contended that the poker player was actually carrying out a "trade, profession or vocation" like a professional sportsman. He was methodical, applied targets, carefully selected his venues and tables, appeared on TV shows, ran a website and was consistently profitable over a number of years.
The court disagreed. They determined that gambling is not a trade and his TV appearances and website was not enough to be considered a trade or profession.
But.... interestingly the court did concede that under difference circumstances the proceeds of gambling might be taxable!
what is spread betting?
You are placing a bet on whether price will move up or down, rather than trading the underlying asset.
Your lot sizing works differently, but other than that it is fairly indistinguishable from 'normal' trading.
My apologies, I certainly didn't mean to imply it was like binary options!
Perhaps I could have phrased it better. You can exit your "bet" at any time, the same way as a normal trade.
I often ponder whether this wording was deliberate: