Offshore firms take a hit as gambling tax reverts to where online bet placed

ONLINE gambling companies will no longer be able to hide beyond British shores as duty becomes payable according to where the bet is placed rather than where the gambling firm is located.

The new consumption-based tax will affect the many British companies – including Betfair, William Hill, and Ladbrokes – which have moved offshore since the 2005 Gambling Act laid out a point-of-supply tax.

In echoing European legislation and plugging the remote gambling tax loophole, the Treasury expects £55m of extra revenues to enter the UK in 2014-2015, £240m the following year and £270m in 2016-2017.

The industry expects the tax rate to be 15 per cent, in line with the supply-based betting duty imposed on UK-based gambling companies.

Betfair, which moved its HQ to Gibraltar last year, said it supported anything that promoted “a fair and level playing field”.

Shares in Ladbrokes, William Hill and Betfair all dropped two per cent.