British Government Wants to Cut Gambling Taxes

5 December 2012 – By Huseyin Yilmaz

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This weekend, a report published in the Mail on Sunday stated that the British government plans to cut online gambling tax in order to bring the offshore online gambling companies back to the country. The Treasury department is expected to cut the present online gambling tax rate of 15% down to 10%, a decrease that would save the companies nearly £100 million in tax each year. Sources from the government said to the Mail on Sunday that the benefits would amount to many million pounds. Despite all of these propositions, the source revealed that the Treasury was close to accepting the argument that the rate on Internet gambling should be reduced by a third.

The 15% tax for all online gambling operators was introduced seven years ago by the Labor government in Britain. Numerous British online gambling companies had opposed this and an important number of these operators shifted out of Britain to more tax-friendly offshore havens like the Isle of Man and Gibraltar. This tax cut is expected to help recoup a part of the £2.1 billion loss registered over the last seven years by bringing the operators back into British jurisdiction. Besides that, this measure wants to prevent under age gambling, protect players against problem gambling and other Internet scandals and improved scrutiny on match fixing.

The UK government has also other issues concerning this measure. The tax will be paid at the “point of consumption” and therefore, the Treasury department is trying to figure out exactly how this is to be done. The methodology is currently under discussion and the regulatory regime intends to deny access to the British market unless operators have a UK Gambling Commission license.

But not everyone in the UK agrees with this intent of modifying the online casino gambling tax. Opponents to the tax cut have criticized any new potential tax concession to the online gaming industry and pointed out that other member states in the EU impose higher gambling taxes of 20%. Fair tax campaigners also stated that countries like Germany and the US have laws that greatly restrict all online gambling.

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