Gibraltar Angered By Proposed U.K.Online Gambling Rules

Published Saturday, August 03, 2013 -
Gibraltar Angered By Proposed U.K.Online Gambling Rules

Gibraltar has had a long standing online gambling industry associated with the United Kingdom which is now having a difficult time accepting the proposed new tax rules in Britain. Gibraltar is home to over a dozen online gambling operators and officials and executives are calling the new tax of 15 % on U.K. residents and those in Gibraltar an unfair change.

Gibraltar considers itself autonomous when it comes to its financial trade and industrial issues including the setting of their own tax regime. The gambling commissioner of Gibraltar Phil Brear, stated, “the tax would be clearly against the common sense logic of electronic commerce.”Brear continued to say, “ We hear a lot of talk in the U.K. about a level playing field. But you can in fact never level the playing field between high street shops and online services.”

About sixty percent of bets from Brits are placed through Gibraltar sites. Currently only one percent is charged in Gibraltar and the new tax by the Cameron government to come into effect in December of 2014 will require all Gibraltar located operators to hold an online gambling license issued by the U.K. Steve Buckanan the head of Ladbrokes in Gibraltar says the imposition of the fifteen percent levies will cause their profit margin to drop considerably. “it would place a huge unwanted cost on our business” he said.

It is not just the tax on the actual gambling that will affect the costs for operations in Gibraltar but lack of taxes on advertizing and other essential services required by online gambling operators.

Internet wagering operator Betfair just moved its business to Gibraltar and said it will save as much as $30 million annually by making the switch. The online gambling industry represents 15 percent of Gibraltar’s almost 2 billion dollar economy. The British government essentially wants more control over the industry and also wants to reap bigger profits form a growing industry that is heading offshore for a better deal.

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