TaxPersonal TaxWilliam Hill threatens to abandon UK over betting tax

William Hill threatens to abandon UK over betting tax

Betting chain William Hill has threatened to move its remaining UK operation abroad if chancellor Gordon Brown fails to help the betting industry in the forthcoming Budget.

The bookmaker has followed the recent trend in moving to offshore telephone and online operations, which enables punters to avoid the 6.75% tax currently levied on bets.

Suggestions that next month’s Budget could close the present loophole may prompt the company to float on a foreign exchange, thus ending the bookmaker’s 66-year residence in Britain, the Indenpendent on Sunday reported yesterday.

It is believed the Treasury is worried that offering concessions to the betting industry could lead to similar calls from those advocating lower duty on tobacco and alcohol products.

Last week representatives of William Hill met with Treasury officials to put their arguments forward. Bookmakers feel that with betting tax at present levels, foreign operators will find it easy to corner large parts of the lucrative UK market according to a report in yesterday’s

This latest move is the second such submission on the subject in a fortnight, the last being from the Horserace Betting Levy Board, who claimed that not cutting duty would leave the industry to ‘wither on the vine’.

Bookee ups the stakes on betting tax with offshore move

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