Betfair May Follow William Hill Offshore If Gambling Tax Approved
Betfair officials have been busy the past couple of weeks taking care of initial public offering proceedings for their listing on the London Stock Exchange. Despite the move, the online gambling industry is focused on the fact that Betfair has opened an office in Dublin, Ireland.
The company insists that the Dublin office is just part of expansion plans, but with the potential for increased revenue taxes in the UK, Betfair may be preparing for a possible relocation. As of now, Betfair claims they are happy with their base operations in the UK.
Last year, William Hill and Ladbrokes, two of the largest online gaming operators in the world, relocated to Gibraltar because of the difference in tax rate compared with the UK. Gibraltar offered a tax rate that was over ten percent less than what William Hill and Ladbrokes had been paying in the UK.
With the online gambling market growing each time a different country regulates the industry, the tax rate has become important for these gaming companies. Betfair paid millions of dollars in tax payments last year, and that figure could be significantly reduced if the company decided to move their operations offshore.
The largest market in the world is found in the US, where there are no regulations in place. If the US government were to regulate the industry, and there is a bill on the table currently that would do that, many of the biggest Internet gambling companies would likely seek licenses. Betfair could be one of those companies, and at that time, they would become more concerned with their tax rates.
Betfair will receive a big boost from the IPO and listing on the London Stock Exchange, and that should give the company more power within the online gaming community. That power could be used as leverage if the UK government decides to increase the current tax rate. The government has already been discussing that possibility.
Betfair offers a wide range of casino and other gambling options at their online websites. Horse racing is one of their main betting options, and last year over $1 million was paid voluntarily to the UK government for revenue from offshore customers.
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