Betfair Looking For Action in U.K.Online Gambling Tax Issue

Published Monday, October 11, 2010 -

Betfair is one of the worlds largest and most successful online gambling firms operating today. The firm just made an offering to the public to purchase shares and become part of this growing concern.
In a not too surprising announcement recently it was revealed that the company may be looking at relocating out of the British jurisdiction to save what could amount to millions of pounds on taxes that the government is looking at imposing on online betting operators located there.

The government’s failure to regulate offshore betting websites and create a level playing field for all operators seems to be the main reason for a proposed relocation contingency plan that Betfair as well as other sports books have in place.

Betfair has no immediate plan to leave, but a move to Gibraltar, may be in the works should Betfair find the situation untenable. This would mirror the move that rival William Hill put into action moving their internet wagering services recently, dealing the U.K. a loss of revenues and jobs.

The suggestion for a move and a fallback position was made in the company's prospectus, which referred to opening an office in Dublin Ireland.  A spokesperson for the firm stated,  "No decision has been made but like every company Betfair puts in place contingency plans for the risks facing it business."

Betfair’s proposed Dublin office will "provide the Betfair Group with additional flexibility as the regulatory environment evolves" This statement is thought to be awarning to the government to stop dragging it's feet and make a firm decision on the taxation issue facing online bookmakers in the U.K..

The horseracing levy a 10 per cent tax that bookmakers in the country have to pay on profits from betting on horse racing. Betfair feels it is being targeted by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). Gibraltar, on the other hand has a tax rate of 3% rather than 15%, and there is no horseracing tax applied.


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