Skip to main content

British bookies heading offshore again?

Yesterday's Racing Post had a two-page spread about how British bookmakers are handling the economic downturn, in particular, if they are looking to minimise tax and levy by heading abroad. Naturally they can't move their shops abroad, but other functions such as internet and sportsbook operations could head to Gibraltar or other territories with much lower tax burdens.

- BetFred recently transferred its internet sportsbook to Gibraltar, where it already based its casino operation.

- Victor Chandler has been in Gibraltar for a decade and hasn't changed.

- Stan James recently shut down a UK call centre and transferred operations to Gibraltar, where much of their business had operated before the abolition of betting duty.

- Betfair have had major operations in Malta for several years, and all exchange bets placed by non-UK and non-Aus/NZ residents are processed via those servers, as well as multiple bets and all poker, casino and gaming transactions.

- Hills and Corals are non-committal regarding transferring any of their non-shop operations abroad. Hills originally set up their internet business on the Isle of Man, then moved it to Antigua.

- Ladbrokes, a former resident of Gibraltar, are launching a 'Bet British' campaign in Scandinavia, encouraging punters and governments there that competition is good for the system.

For the smaller firms without a High St shop presence, then you can understand why they might want to move. 15% gross profits tax if they remain in Britain compared to as little as 1.5% tax abroad. But should firms based outside of Britain be able to get away with betting on British racing without paying the levy to maintain the industry? Australian racing authorities are introducing models to charge for the right to use the data, and so long as the asking price isn't ridiculous, the british government should make sure that the firms moving abroad have to pay their share. Racing in the UK is struggling enough at the bottom level without firms taking a free ride....

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's all gone Pete Tong at Betfair!

The Christmas Hurdle from Leopardstown, a good Grade 2 race during the holiday period. But now it will go into history as the race which brought Betfair down. Over £21m at odds of 29 available on Voler La Vedette in-running - that's a potential liability of over £500m. You might think that's a bit suspicious, something's fishy, especially with the horse starting at a Betfair SP of 2.96. Well, this wasn't a horse being stopped by a jockey either - the bloody horse won! Look at what was matched at 29. Split that in half and multiply by 28 for the actual liability for the layer(s). (Matched amounts always shown as double the backers' stake, never counts the layers' risk). There's no way a Betfair client would have £600m+ in their account. Maybe £20 or even £50m from the massive syndicates who regard(ed) Betfair as safer than any bank, but not £600m. So the error has to be something technical. However, rumour has it, a helpdesk reply (not gospel, natur

What shits me about match-fixing 'journalism'.

The anti-wagering media bandwagon has dozens of new members this week, all weighing in an industry they have absolutely no idea about. I'm all for getting the betting industry into the mainstream but it shits me no end when they roll out reports and celebrities who simply don't have a clue what they are talking about and don't bother to check basic facts which key arguments in their story. If this was the financial industry, making errors like this would have them in all sorts of trouble, but the same level of regulation doesn't apply because finance stock markets are supposedly all legitimate and serious, whereas sports betting is just a bit of fun for people who can never win in the long-term... according to the media. This week we have seen the sting by the Telegraph which, on the face of it, looks to be a tremendous piece of investigative work into fixing in English football. But the headlines around it are over-sensationalised yet again. Delroy Facey, a former pla

Racing has a Ponzi scheme - and the fallout will be enormous

When the term ' Ponzi scheme ' is mentioned these days, the names Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford instantly spring to mind. The pair of them ran multi-billion dollar frauds (US$60bn and $8bn respectively) that destroyed the lives of thousands of investors who had put their life savings into a 'wonderful' investment strategy. How so many people were sucked into the scheme is baffling to those on the outside. The lifestyle, the sales pitch, the success stories of the early investors - I suppose it all adds up. So where does this link to racing you ask? A prominent Australian 'racing identity' this week has been reported to have lost access to a bank account with punters' club funds of $194m in it. Firstly - is there a worse term for anyone to be labelled with that 'racing identity'? It ALWAYS ends up meaning shonky crook! Secondly - who the hell has a punters' club with an active bankroll in the tens of millions? It simply can't be done. T