Offshore Operators will be taxed in the UK

22 March 2012 – By Huseyin Yilmaz

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The financial crisis that has devastated much of Europe in the last years has forced most of the governments to take economical measures in order to stay afloat. Thereby, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has announced that offshore online casino operators present on the British market will be subject to secondary licensing and taxation. The intent of the government in defining online gambling as taking place at the point of consumption has been in the public domain for well over a year. Experts in online casinos had many doubts whether the government will actually go ahead, but after this announcement things are obvious: online gambling operators catering to customers in the UK will have to pay more taxes.

By implementing this law, the British government wants not only to get more money for the country’s budget from offshore operators but also to bring back the British online gambling operators that have left for greener jurisdictions offshore. George Osborne stated that ninety percent of online gambling consumed by UK citizens is supplied from outside the UK and this fact does not support jobs in Britain. Also, he added that most of the remaining UK gambling operations are under pressure to leave the country due to the unfair competition.

This new regulations will generate additional revenues, according to the Treasury budget documents: £ 55 million in 2014-2015, £ 240 million in 2015-2016 and £ 270 million in 2016-2017. This change to a point-of-consumption tax regime will extend the British tax base and will provide a fairer basis for competition between the UK and the overseas online casino operators. The government is willing to consult with representatives of the online gambling industry on details of taxation proposals and secondary licensing procedures. Offshore online operators expect that the tax on online gambling will be set at 15% starting from December 2014. The changes brought to the legislation will surely have a great impact on many offshore operators. It is expected that some of them will retire from the British market if the taxes are too high and the online business will not bring profit to them.

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