Gambling Tax Law Issues

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As of 1st December 2014, gambling operators, whether based in the UK or otherwise, will have to pay a Point of Consumption Tax on their UK players. As part of the UK government’s crackdown on tax, the online gambling industry in the country looks set to suffer.

But what effect will this have on US taxpayers? The answer is, not much unless you run or are involved in an online gambling organisation which serves UK players. Unlike the US, the UK is much more open to online gambling in various forms, from bookmaking to bingo, casino games throughout the country, rather than on a regional basis. So much so, there are even sites like which offer comparisons between online bingo sites so that players and consumers can find the best deal for then.

However while the country is open to this hobby, they are not so open to players being exploited or organisations making huge profits whilst not contributing anything. This is one of the reasons the Point of Consumption Tax law was passed. Previously organisations in the US, or more commonly in a tax haven, could provide their gambling services to players thousands of miles away in the UK, without being subject to the tax laws of the kingdom. However now the law states that all businesses offering gambling services to UK citizens, regardless of country of operation, must pay a tax on the profits earned from individuals within the UK market.

What this basically means is that companies will now have to pay an amount of tax per UK player, with the amount set in tandem with how much the player bets. So for instance a company with gambling operations from the US to UK players would be subject to US tax laws, plus a Point of Consumption tax. Of course then the main major issue this creates is a loss in profits due to tax taken. Depending how much of a customer base is in the UK, this could then mean a few of the smaller operators would have to shut down.

This then has an effect on competition marketing, and could stand to see the global industry shrink rather than grow, which isn’t good for trade, general industry, marketing and globalisation right across the board.

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Donagh is the editor of Irish Left Review. Contact Donagh through email: