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Officials in the online gambling industry in Gibraltar are protesting a British government plan to impose a 15 percent tax on British gamblers placing bets with Gibraltar-registered online casinos.
Gibraltar's gambling commissioner said that the gambling tax runs "clearly against the common-sense logic of electronic commerce."
Currently, online gambling companies in Gibraltar are only subject to taxes of 1 percent up to a maximum of GBP425,000 per year. The proposed 15 percent tax would be the same as that faced by those who bet within the British mainland and would add significant costs for online betting firms based in Gibraltar, such as William Hill and Ladbrokes.
Steve Buchanan, the head of British gaming company Ladbrokes' operations in Gibraltar, said that the tax would put "a huge and unwanted cost on our business."
Last month a report commissioned by the Remote Gambling Association and carried out by global auditing firm KPMG concluded that the gambling tax will likely fail to achieve its aims unless gross profits are taxed at less than 10 percent and companies are given leeway to offset costs associated with bonuses and incentives.
The study found that the 15 percent tax could put companies out of business or force them to operate in the grey market. It could also drive "a very large number of UK customers" to offshore duty-avoiding gaming firms as these would offer lower priced products.
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