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UK: advertising to get more difficult for offshore gambling companies

After months of veiled threats that offshore internet gambling companies wishing to advertise their services to UK players may have to pay Brit taxes, the likelihood of such a development loomed larger this week.

UK media report that an unidentified "senior government source" has leaked the news that the British government intends soon to ban advertising in the UK for online gaming operators based offshore, and to call a halt to the use of UK credit cards used by punters on offshore gambling websites.

The leak, which may be a deliberate move to test reactions, follows discussions between British licensed gambling companies and the government last year, and a government enquiry into the industry and the use of UK advertising by companies that are not licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and operate from offshore bases, denying the UK taxman his cut.

British-licensed operators have complained that the present situation leaves them at a competitive disadvantage to offshore rivals due to the higher tax they pay.

Several major UK gambling groups have moved their internet operations offshore in order to better compete.

One possible solution mentioned last year was to do away with the present "white list" of acceptable jurisdictions and instead require a form of "secondary licensing" in the UK which would make offshore companies responsible to the Gambling Commission and liable for taxation.

There has as yet been no official government statement on the findings of the enquiry or firm government intentions.

Source: InfoPowa News

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