U-turn on online gambling taxation?

13/03/2013

The UK government is planning a u-turn on taxation in regards to online gambling. In an attempt to deal with tax avoidance the UK government is going to actively encourage lucrative online gambling companies back into the UK with generous tax breaks.

Seven years ago the vast majority of UK online gambling companies moved their operations abroad to tax havens such asMalta, Gibraltar and the Channel Islands to avoid a 15% tax imposed on all online gambling services in the UK.

However, according to recent reports the Treasury could be ready to slash this tax to encourage online gambling companies back into the UK. Although the percentage at which the government will reduce the tax is not yet known, the Mail on Sunday reports that it could be as much as a third; the current tax system has lost £2.1 billion in revenue over the past seven years.

A reduction of 5% would save the 20 biggest offshore gaming companies £100 million in tax every year. However, many online gaming companies that currently work out of tax havens will be loath to pay the tax even at a reduced rate of 10%. But for some the deal might be enough of a sweetener to bring them back to the UK and benefit from greater regulation and industry support.

By moving back under the control of the UK Gambling Commission, consumers new to online gaming will feel more inclined to give it a try, knowing it is thoroughly and tightly controlled and regulated by the Gambling Commission, which can bring charges against companies in breach of the rules.

More online gamers is good news for online casinos such as JackpotCity Casino. According to figures from the Gambling Commission, online gambling earned £20.1 billion between April 2011 and March 2012 and online gambling is growing at a rate of 15% annually throughout the EU.

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