The changes will take effect from 1 January 2002 and will mean that taking a punt will cost the UK’s gamblers nine pence less per pound. Brown said that the levy will be replaced with a 15% tax on profits, which the top six betting houses have already agreed not to pass on to their customers.
The Treasury minister responsible for betting duty Stephen Timms said: ‘These reforms will help UK bookmakers compete internationally, while continuing to make their fair contribution to racing and to government revenues.’
Brown’s main motivation behind the move is to bring the big six bookmakers back to the UK. In the last few years they have moved their opperations offshore and introduced telephone and internet services to avoid having to levy betting duty.