UK Government Confirms Tax Review For Online Gambling

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Today Justine Greening, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury in the UK announced that the government will be reviewing secondary licensing of online gambling companies.

Ms. Greening making the announcement said, "I will review the case for changing the taxation regime in line with (gambling policy minister) John Penrose's proposal and taxing operators on the basis of customer location (rather than supplier location)."

It has been said that if the tax were implemented it would perhaps cost large gambling companies like Ladbrokes, Betfair and William Hill upwards of £30 million pounds annually, because of the fact that each of the companies went offshore to find tax advantages. Today a spokesman for William Hill plc issued a statement that said they will work with the government "to ensure that the review fully takes into account the commercial impact of any change before any decisions are made".

The agreement does not only impact the UK. Offshore gaming areas such as Isle of Man and Alderney will likely see some impact to its gaming licensing business if it becomes more beneficial for larger companies to move their base of operations back to the UK. However, Garth Kimber, Chief Online Regulator on the Isle of Man said that the tax implications are not a threat. He noted the "lighter touch" the UK Gambling Commission would have for businesses that are in white listed jurisdictions. Currently, the Isle of Man rakes in roughly £4.2 million annually from global players.

Allan Bell MHK, Isle of Man Economic Development Minister was not worried either, stating "In my recent conversation with Minister Penrose I received assurances that the UK Gambling Commission has no wish to duplicate the work that our Gambling Commission does in regulating our operators.

"It has been clear from my representations on behalf of Isle of Man operators that these provisions are a direct recognition of the confidence the UK has in our high standards."