PAN-EUROPEAN TAX HARMONY ‘DEAD IN THE WATER?"
Tax expert says European Court of Justice Attorney General's opinion on UK-Gibraltar litigation signals that EU courts are happy for individual member states to impose their own laws on online gambling.
The European Court of Justice Attorney General Maciej Szpunar's rejection of the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association's arguments on the UK p.o.c. tax and his opinion that the UK and Gibraltar were one entity in these circumstances could have major implications, opines an article published by Bloomberg business news this week.
Tim Ferris, a tax and legal expert in London, told Bloomberg that the AG's opinion is a "bad omen" for the European Court of Justice ruling on the case scheduled for later this year, and signals that the Union's courts are happy for member states to set their own taxes for online gambling.
He added that a pan-EU approach for online gambling taxation is now probably “dead in the water”and said that there remain a number of countries who have yet to properly deal with the issue.
Clive Hawkswood, director of the trade body the Remote Gambling Association, said the eventual ECJ ruling would be awaited with interest, but observed that the p.o.c. tax has been in force for about two years and it is therefore unlikely that the online gambling industry would suffer any further damage as a result of the Court action. He added that additional tax burdens from U.K. remote gaming operations as well as those in Gibraltar amounts to approximately GBP 400 million pounds but has “partially been offset by market growth.”