The UK Government Wants To Reduce Taxes

16 March 2013 – By Jane Spiegel

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Online casino companies operating in the United Kingdom are paying a 15 percent tax on all gambling services in this country. Many gambling operators have left the market and moved to offshore tax havens in order to avoid the high taxes perceived by the British government. The government plans a u-turn on online gambling as they started to understand that it was a bad idea to tax too highly. Taxing online gambling operators at a high rate was a bad idea and the UK government will propose a reduction for internet casinos, betting, poker and bingo operators.

It seems the Treasury has a change of heart and is apparently ready to slash a 15 percent tax on all gambling services in the country. According to a report from the Mail on Sunday, the tax could be reduced by as much as a third. The government, through this proposal, wants to reap back some of the more than £2 billion in revenues lost over the past seven years. The potential profits went to other jurisdictions that offer more flexible tax rates for online casino companies. The Gambling Commission, which is the body responsible for overseeing online gambling within the UK, recently stated online gambling was worth an impressive £20.1 billion to the 12 months ending March 2012. Also, according to the Commission, online casino gambling is growing at an annual rate of 15% throughout the countries of the European Union.

The biggest gaming operators have moved to other jurisdictions and the United Kingdom has hard work cut out for it if it wants to attract back those companies. Most UK online gambling firms moved seven years ago to offshore tax heavens like Malta, Gibraltar and the Channel Islands. The decision was taken in order to avoid the then fresh 15% tax imposed on all gambling services by the state. Bringing them back is a difficult process and many industry insiders believe the government will have to take other measures too. Despite the reduction to 10%, the online casino gambling companies will pay far more taxes than they do in their current jurisdictions.

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