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UK Bookie Coral Buys Gibraltar-Based Eurobet

Tax-news.com

22 November 1999


Britain's third largest bookmaker Coral has followed its competitors offshore by buying Eurobet, a small Gibraltar based internet betting company. In announcing the purchase, Coral said that it plans to offer tax-free telephone betting to UK residents from Gibraltar within a month.

Gibraltar is fast becoming a hub for internet betting with UK bookies Stan James, Victor Chandler and Ladbrokes having already established themselves on the Rock, and William Hill, Britain's second largest bookmaker expected to follow suit early next year.

Although basing part of their operations offshore offers the companies no corporate tax advantages (they still pay UK corporation tax), UK betting companies are still keen to operate from Gibraltar in order to avoid paying the betting tax and horse racing levy that adds around 9 per cent to the cost of most bets.

The move by Coral is a clear sign that UK bookmakers' enthusiasm to move offshore has not been dampened by the recent announcement by the UK Government that it will tighten the existing advertising restrictions on offshore betting companies (which apply to press and television) to include teletext.

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