Relief for Britains Gamblers

January 1 2005 will remain anchored in memories of British gambling fanatics, as a date to remember bringing a revolution to the British gambling scene.The Budget saw Chancellor Gordon Brown announce changes to the gambling tax system, removing the 9% betting tax on British punters for their every bets placed and consequently announcing that bookies would incur a 15% tax on their profits, as from January 1st 2011.

The move itself was good for UK Gamblers as it meant punters could bet with local land based firms instead of using offfshore based companies.The news came as a real revolution on the gambling scene, as it was the first time since the launch of betting outlets in the UK, some 40 years back that gamblers woould be able to enjoy tax free betting.

This change is considered really beneficiary to all parties involved in the betting system and according to Tote chairman Peter Jones “Turnover could increase by 50% or more as a result of this initiative.”

According to observers this decision will boost the UK in becoming the global leader in online gambling, since Britain is considered as having the best regulated betting system in the world encouraging players around the world to bring their business towards Britain and as a result increasing the profit margin of UK based betting companies. The news also made companies rethink about their strategies, with the likes of & Coral looking to relocate to Britain from Gibraltar.

With Europe slowly following the path of the UnitedKingdom at the time in terms of betting regulation, the Labour Party’s scope of making Britain the global centre for gambling companies and regulation seemed to be realistic goal at the time.

Did that however change the move offshore by gambling companies. It seems not. The additional tax burden that UK gambling companies had to bear drove traditional bookmakers like William Hill offshore and meant that the Exchequer collected less revenues and there was less employment.

The scenario around UK Betting is a complex one probably riven by special interests and shadowy characters. The Gambling Games team here in the UK think that if you are offshore and taking bets from UK gamblers, you should be paying some kind of tax to the UK government. What do UK gamblers think of this.

Written for Gambling Games by James.