United Kingdom to Encourage Online Gambling Industry Regulation

Source: http://casino.pokernews.com/news/2007/2/united-kingdom-encourage-online-

The Telegraph reported this week that Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown plans to encourage online gambling companies to relocate to the UK, with full regulation and licensing.

In stark contrast to the recent US government moves to hinder online gambling through the introduction of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), Britain appears to be moving towards full regulation of the industry. The British government has been long keen to get a piece of the revenues generated through online gambling by companies such as PartyGaming – Party Casino and Party Poker – and 888 / casino-on-net however these companies would never relocate to the UK if they were subject to the same tax laws as land-based casinos in Britain. Land-based casinos are subject to taxes of up to 40% on gross wins.

But rumor has it Gordon Brown is planning to make the UK a viable option for these companies by introducing a “Remote Gaming Duty”, expected to be only 2 or 3 percent. From September 2007, online gambling companies will be allowed for the first time to apply for a UK casino license under the Gambling Act. Companies will be allowed to obtain a UK license and still base their headquarters overseas.

The exact tax rate has yet to be announced, and will be a massively important factor in any online gambling company’s decision to apply for a UK license. John O’Reilly (head of online gaming Ladbrokes) and Andrew McIver (chief executive SportingBet) have both stated they will apply for UK licenses if the Remote Gaming Tax is low enough.

The online gambling industry is vastly more competitive than the land-based industry and online casinos have grown up in zero or low tax jurisdictions such as Gibraltar. Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the Remote-Gambling Authority, an online gaming trade body, justified the low rate of tax by explaining that a higher rate of gambling duty would “wipe out half the industry overnight”.

Fron Casino-Bingo.co.ukThe UK Online Gambling Guide!

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