UK government imposes 15% tax on offshore gaming
The UK government has announced that it will impose a 15% tax rate on online betting companies that target customers in the country but are based in offshore tax havens.
According to the government’s new rule, from December 2014 gambling must be taxed according to where the customers are based, rather than where the operator is registered.
Reports suggest that the new levy could raise as much as £300 million (€352 million/$470 million) for the taxpayer.
“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, the economic secretary to the Treasury, said.
“These reforms will ensure that remote gambling operators who have UK customers make a fair contribution to the public finances.”
The government said that the 15% tax rate would be confirmed in its budget statement next March.
Remote Gambling Association chief executive officer Clive Hawkswood told the Guardian newspaper: “We knew it was coming. The focus for us now is on trying to get the actual rate of the tax reduced.”
Several online betting companies are based in Gibraltar, where taxes are levied at 1% and capped at £425,000.