02/09/2012 : SECOND HEARING FOR UK ONLINE GAMBLING REFORM BILL
"Point of Consumption" Bill proposed in House of Commons
A bill covering the taxation of offshore bookmakers introduced by Conservative MP Matthew Hancock was heard in the House of Commons earlier this week and has been given a second reading scheduled for March 30, 2012.
The bill looks to the reform of the UK Gambling Act 2005 and proposes that all bookmakers servicing the UK market be forced to apply for a UK Gambling Commission licence and pay taxes on revenues. Additionally, it proposes the elimination of the Horse Racing Levy.
While weighted towards the decline in horse racing revenues, the proposal would affect all forms of online gambling and seeks a taxation model based on customer location rather than the physical location of the company offering the services.
The bill was opposed by fellow conservative MP Philip Davies who argued that increased regulation would result in a surge towards players seeking illegal market operators although he conceded "a single digit tax system of 5 percent across the board would be better than trying to collect 15 percent from none of them".
“I look forward to making the case for reform to the system and helping secure a future for racing. Horseracing supports 100,000 jobs countrywide including 5,000 in my constituency town of Newmarket,” Hancock said.
“Everyone should welcome a level playing field for gambling and racing here in the UK ".
Hancock introduced the bill to the House of Commons under the "10 Minute Rule", which gives the author the opportunity to present the bill and convince the House members on its merits in ten minutes. It is the latest in the UK Government's previously communicated interest in reforming the Gambling Act of 2005.