William Hill To Maintain Gibraltar Employees
Thursday December 19,2013 : WILLIAM HILL TO MAINTAIN GIBRALTAR PRESENCE DESPITE P.O.C. DEVELOPMENTS (Update)
400 jobs on The Rock are involved.
William Hill plc executives told the Reuters news agency Wednesday that despite the coming implementation of the British government's point of consumption tax and secondary licensing on companies wishing to access the UK punter, it would maintain its operations in Gibraltar, where it employs 400 or more people.
The new tax regime could cost the online division of the group tens of millions of pounds, Reuters notes.
Will Hill is one of several major British gambling firms that set up internet operations in Gibraltar, allowing them to access British gamblers while benefiting from a benign local tax regime.
However, Britain is planning to impose an anticipated 15 percent duty on bookmakers' online winnings from British customers with effect from December 2014, a move that is expected to yield around GBP 300 million a year in tax revenues.
The decision by William Hill will please Gibraltar's authorities, who have been concerned that bookmakers could move their online operations out of the territory, depriving the local economy of one of its main income and employment generators.
Meanwhile, as reported in InfoPowa earlier this year, William Hill Online has set up a new office east of London in a new area known as "Tech City," home to a number of hi-tech start-ups.
William Hill execs said that the new office should not be interpreted as a decision to abandon Gibraltar.
"We have over 400 people in Gibraltar, we run our global operations from there," said Andy Lee, managing director of William Hill Online.
"Our staff are very happy there and there are reasons why we will remain there in order to be competitive in this market," he said.
Lee, who is based in Gibraltar, said the aim of the new Tech City office was to tap into a pool of talented engineers and designers available in London, but he added that the team would be limited to around 40 people.
William Hill's main corporate headquarters is in north London.
Like other bookmakers, William Hill is looking forward to the additional business that will be generated by the World Cup football, which will be hosted by Brazil in 2014.
Online gambling group Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment said earlier Wednesday that it expected increased betting during the tournament in June and July.
William Hill managers revealed that the company's developers are working on online and mobile products tailored to suit the busiest World Cup days, when there can be as many as three or four games.
William Hill is a sponsor of the England team, which has qualified for the World Cup. That partnership will allow them access to players for video clips during the tournament which they see as an advantage over betting rivals.