IT LOOKS AS IF GIBRALTAR MAY BE OUT OF LUCK IN ITS U.K. GAMING TAX CHALLENGE (Update)
European Judge Advocate's opinion is that Britain and Gibraltar must be classed as one EU member state.
Gibraltar's challenge to the UK 15 percent point-of-consumption tax on US online gambling operator revenues has already failed in the UK High Court, and it looks as if it may be rejected by the European Court of Justice too.
The ECJ normally hews to opinions of its Advocate General, although these are not binding on it…and the current AG, Maciej Szpunar, has just issued an opinion that as a dependent territory Gibraltar and the UK are a single Member State, and European law regarding the freedom to provide services between Member States would therefore not be applicable.
That appears to go against the contention of Gibraltar operators that the UK government's p.o.c. tax contravenes the principle of freedom to provide services between within the European Union.
The British government argues that the operators had no enforceable EU rights because the provision of services between Gibraltar and the UK is not covered by EU law. AG Szpunar supported this argument, saying that in any case he did not see the p.o.c. tax as an obstruction to free trade.
The European Court of Justice will take the AG's opinion into consideration as they further deliberate the issue before issuing a finding.
The AG's opinion can be accessed here: http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2017-01/cp170004en.pdf