Tax-free betting brought forward

‘Rapid progress’ made by bookmakers and Customs & Excise is responsible for the early start date, according to the government.

Chancellor Gordon Brown said in his March Budget that he would scrap the unpopular duty in an attempt to stem the flow of bookies moving offshore.

Bookmakers will instead be taxed on their gross profits at 15% meaning punters will no longer pay 9% tax.

Financial secretary to the Treasury Paul Boateng, said: ‘The old tax on punters has been in place almost unchanged since 1966, but we realised it was not going to work in the 21st century and would result in UK-based bookmakers losing out on the global betting market.’

The day has been picked to coincide with England’s World Cup qualifier against old rivals Germany and the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp – one of the highlights of the racing calendar.


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