Torries going after offshore bookmakers in new tax sweep

Chancellor Phillip Hammond today announced a tax increase on offshore gambling companies that hold licenses abroad and operate within UK territory. This is on top of the restrictions placed already placed on betting companies’ maximum stakes option at the fixed-odds terminal machines.

Calculator and account sheet

The taxes are going to be raised by up to 10% for UK offshore bookmakers © Pexels.

Hammond has flaunted the idea in his pre-budget announcement that the so-called remote betting taxes that are paid by operators based overseas who offer various services including casino, blackjack, poker and sports betting – would gather £1 billion over the next five years. The void left by the prohibition of fixed-odds terminals has been huge, the government feel the need to take action to fill this fiscal deficit.

This revelation by the British Chancellor has left many bookmakers furious, who feel like there bottom line is being unfairly targeted in a money grab attempt. Either way, you can’t prevent the economic forces that influence government decisions and the operators in this case will have no choice but to comply if they want to retain their operating licenses within the UK.

There is a precedent being set here, any gambling company that provides services to UK-based customers will see taxes on their “gross gambling yield” hit by a 10% hike, going from 15% to 25%. Tracey Crouch Sports Minister

You can read the full report on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals at the UK Gambling Commission website

Double whammy for UK operators

Many of the UK’s biggest names in online bookmaking have set up operations based in Gibraltar, and having been hurt by the FOTB move, they will be hit again by this move targeting the companies who run businesses from abroad.

The questions now remain, how will this affect the punters using these sites. Will we see now a big reduction industry wide in things like payout rates and welcome bonus offers: this move would seem unwise and damage the competitive nature of the UK’s biggest brands. Or could we now see many companies returning to the UK as the benefits of running operations from abroad seem to be dwindling.

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