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UK Betting Industry Disappointed, Wants Cut in Betting Duty

Tax-news.com

15 November 1999


UK bookmakers were disappointed by the Government's announcement this week of measures to discourage betting companies moving offshore. They have argued to the UK Government that only way to protect the UK betting industry is to reduce the duty in order to make it more competitive. The Betting Office Licensees Association (BOLA), said 'The best way of clamping down is to make the UK business competitive instead of pulling up the drawbridge with defensive measures". It renewed calls for a reduction in the 9 per cent betting duty - preferably to 3 or 5 per cent - as the most effective way of countering the offshore threat.

Tom Kelly, director-general of the BOLA believes all telephone bets will go abroad unless the government acts to cut betting duty soon. Bookmakers question the Government's strategy saying that even if offshore jurisdictions were no longer an option, there are European Union countries with lower betting taxes than Britain. In particular, they questioned the Government's plans to strengthen control over the taxation of companies located outside the UK. Coral's Malcolm Palmer said: 'Such a measure only extends to British colonies and if we move offshore, as we intend to do unless betting duty is reduced, we would have to bear that in mind by choosing a site where the British Government doesn't have any legislative power.

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