Health Care

Bridge is not a sport, European Union top court rules

Bridge is not a sport, European Union top court rules”

After tax authorities rejected the application, the EBU took them to a United Kingdom court, which said bridge was a game of chance rather than a sport.

Duplicate bridge is described as a "form of bridge played competitively at national and worldwide level, in which each partnership successively plays the same deal as their counterparts at other tables".

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Thursday that the card game bridge can not be considered a sport and is therefore subject to value-added tax (VAT) in Britain.

They suggest that duplicate bridge should be considered a sport as it involved a "significant mental element" and is "practised competitively".

However, the European Court of Justice has now ruled against the EBU - overturning a recommendation from its Advocate General.

More news: Macron Faces Protests in Restive French Guiana

The game of bridge may flex the intellectual muscles but the EU´s top court ruled on Thursday that it is not a sport because it involves "negligible" physical activity.

The case came to the ECJ after the English Bridge Union (EBU), a national body responsible for regulating and developing duplicate bridge in England, had its application for repayment of VAT on bridge tournament entry fees rejected by the United Kingdom tax authority on the ground that, because the activity lacked a significant physical element, it was not a "sport" within the meaning of the VAT Directive.

The EBU said the decision was a "surprise" and "disappointment".

The ECJ, however, left a possible opening for British bridge fiends to exploit. After that was appealed, Britain's Upper Tribunal asked the European court to clarify whether duplicate bridge could be considered a sport under the terms of the VAT Directive.

The union argues that Value-Added Tax exemption would make competitions cheaper, and would help bring bridge to a wider audience.

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