UK Chancellor To Increase Tax For Offshore Gambling Operators
UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has the offshore gambling industry on his radar as he plans for a tax increase later this month. This is a move that will not go down well with offshore gaming operators and will cause a lot of unrest in the online gambling industry in the UK.
Hammond has planned on increasing the taxes paid by overseas remote-gaming operators who provide games like poker, roulette and blackjack. Government aides admitted that such move is expected to raise roughly £1 billion over a five year period.
The government’s concentrated effort on cracking down fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT’s) stirred up massive controversy as high street bookmakers have stated that it would cut their revenue in half. The UK Government decided to proceed nevertheless and this will undoubtedly create a black hole in their budget; thus the money from the tax increase on offshore gambling operators can and should help fill the gap.
Last summer, ministers announced their plans on cutting the maximum FOBT stake from £100 to £2 in the hopes of dealing with the problem gambling following a long and heated discussion amongst legislators. These FOBT machines reportedly bring in over £1.8 billion in revenue and the exchequer receives around £400 million in the form of taxes. That is a lot of money for the government and hence why a number of legislators opposed the dramatic cuts on FOBT odds.
The offshore gaming industry is prepared for Chancellor Hammond to lift their gaming duty from its present level of 15 percent of “gross gambling yield” to anywhere between 20 to 25 percent. Should this be the case, it will cause a major headache for the likes of William Hill and Ladbrokes.
The two operators who have a major presence in the UK will be hit by the FOBT cuts. Should the tax on offshore gambling operators be increase, both Ladbrokes and William Hill will take a hit since their online gambling operators are based out of Gibraltar.
Philip Hammond is expected to announce an assortment of revenue-raising measures on October 29, as he pursues to show a Budget that will help end years of austerity. The UK government is also set to introduce a multi-million pound advertising campaign aimed at promoting responsible gambling. Public Health England will also launch a study to check out the impact that gambling is having on public health. The Gambling Commission has also push for stringent measures to be imposed on online gambling operators including stronger age-verification rules.