Customs faces rising gambling losses

Customs & Excise has admitted that revenue from betting duty has fallen for three consecutive months following two years of growth.

Customs’ Duty receipts for June, derived from betting activity in May, were £43.2m, down from £45.8m for the same month in 1999. Receipts for the previous month were down to £40.9m, as opposed to £43.1m a year earlier, while April’s receipts were down to £42.1m from £42.5m.

Customs told the Telegraph a reduction in the number of race meetings was responsible for some of the figures.

In March’s Budget, chancellor Gordon Brown announced a consultation on reforming general betting duty to enable the gambling and racing industries to flourish in the internet age.

Brown’s Budget response came hot on the heels of bookmaker William Hill threatening to move its remaining UK operation abroad if the chancellor failed to act.

And Customs had another bad day at the races in April when the National Audit Office warned the government department could lose as much as £50m if all telephone betting moved offshore.

Government acts to stem flow of bookmakers offshore with betting tax move

William Hill threatens to abandon UK over betting tax

William Hill’s internet betting site

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