According to the Gambling Commission, the UK remote gambling market is worth over £2 billion per year, and the new tax system would raise approximately £300 million per year in additional revenues. The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid, says it’s “unacceptable” that operators can avoid paying UK taxes by “moving offshore” and that the government is now taking “decisive action to ensure this can no longer happen in the future.” He added that the reforms will help ensure that remote operators who have UK customers make a “fair contribution” to public finances.
There’s been a noticeable increase in the number of gaming companies setting themselves up in tax havens such as Gibraltar over the past decade due to the rise of the internet. However, the Treasury wants all operators who do business in the UK to be able to compete equally, and that the new tax levies will enable this to happen. Understandably, many of the affected gambling companies are not so happy about the new rules and penalties, and Britain’s biggest remote operator, William Hill (who also own William Hill Bingo) are said to be considering their response, which includes the option of arguing that the changes breach European Union competition law.