The online betting companies located in the UK who thought they could base themselves in offshore havens to avoid paying taxes have found themselves hit with a 15% tax nonetheless. The Government is set to impose a tax of 15% on operators in the remote gambling market.
From December 2014 forward, gambling will be taxed according to where the customers are located rather than where the operator is registered. This is not good news for companies who were hoping to dodge taxes while operating offshore.
Sajid Javid, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury stated, “It is unacceptable that gambling companies can avoid UK taxes by moving offshore, and the Government is taking decisive action to ensure this can no longer happen,” Sajid Javid further commented, “These reforms will ensure that remote gambling operators who have UK customers make a fair contribution to the public finances.”
This rate means that offshore casino operators will be taxed at the same level as domestic Internet betting companies. It has been estimated that this will result in £300m additional tax revenue each year.
This rule can be expected to bring about some challenges from those larger companies who stand to be hit hard. Some of the companies which may be hit hard include William Hill, Betfair, Ladbrokes, and Bwin.party. Each of these companies handles operations in Gibraltar and will now face taxes of 15%.
This story should get more interesting as those key players come out about the taxes and how they intend to react to the changes. While this rule change may be unexpected, it would seem as though the companies should have had some foresight that this would be a possibility they would face at some point.