Double Taxation Drives Bingo Online

Published Wednesday, March 04, 2009 -

The British bingo industry is being threatened by the system of 'double taxation', which dictates that bingo revenue should be subject to the payment of both 17.5% value added tax and 15% gross profits tax. No other form of gambling or leisure industry in the UK is subject to a comparable regime. Double taxation was a contributory factor in the closure of 37 bingo clubs in Great Britain in 2007 and many more will close if it is not reformed.

The Scottish National Party has become the first mainstream political party to call for the abolition of Double Taxation as a matter of fiscal policy. Ian Burke, chief executive of Rank Group, and owner of the famous Mecca Bingo brand, called the announcement "a real breakthrough." The recent ban on smoking in British bingo halls has definitely caused some bingo players to stay away. This downward trend has forced some operators to move their action to offshore jurisdictions. Ironically as bingo goes bust in Britain the online bingo sector has shown the largest growth potential. Rank Group has seen the writing on the wall and moved to provide bingo players with all the latest and greatest bingo games on the web. Solid Virtue Fusion software drives a division of Blue Square also a Rank Group subsidiary.

A campaign in Britain to bring the double taxation of Bingo to an end has resulted in many members of parliament being asked to do something to right this wrong. Rank Group was speculating they would profit from the move to more online gambling applications. Survival is key and seems the internet is the current lifeline. So far the British Government has not been very sympathetic to the woes of this revenue making industry. The Treasury has been asserting that the value added tax was in line with the way all other forms of gambling were being taxed. Although it has been suggested that the tax violates the E.U. v.a.t. agreements. It is believed by some that if the Treasury does not act soon Bingo games will be only available on the internet.

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