Tuesday March 5, 2013 : BRITAIN'S NEW P.O.C. ONLINE GAMBLING TAX REVIEW EXTENDED (Update)
Malta complaint to EC just further complicated the issue
Britains proposed imposition of a secondary licensing and point-of-consumption tax on offshore internet gambling firms wishing to access the UK market just became more complicated with the announcement that the European Commission, to whom the proposal has been submitted, has extended its three month review period by a full month following a complaint from the island of Malta, a major licenser of online gambling companies.
Malta's beef has not been detailed, but will undoubtedly include the free passage of trade and services provisions enshrined in the European Union treaty to which Britain is a signatory.
The UK government will have to respond to Malta's claims in the complaint, and may not implement the new laws for the next six months…not necessarily a disaster, as the target date for implementation is end 2014.
The Malta complaint is just one in a growing number of voices raised in opposition to the British government's plans, including the licensing jurisdiction of Gibraltar, which is planning a legal attack if necessary, and several major British gambling groups that have shifted their online gambling divisions offshore to take advantage of more business-friendly tax regimes in order to better compete in the online market.