In the wake of the ‘freeplay’ betting levy announced in the 2016 UK Budget, the Daily Telegraph has talked to top figures in the world of gaming to tap the ramifications of such a development.
“If you were at Cheltenham races today [16th March] and you placed a bet on an internet site and it had been given to you free – say Paddy Power had give you £10 – on that bet Paddy Power would have to pay £1.50 of tax if you lost,” explained PwC betting and gaming team’s Gareth Martyn.
“What the government is trying to do is mirror the same thing for online casinos and the like, continued the company’s tax director.
Meanwhile, Tony Bullock – a partner at EY – stated that the new tax charge could raise less than the Cameron government has forecast.
“We are beginning to see the industry moving towards offering enhanced odds instead to encourage punters through the door,” Bullock explained. “This change in marketing will avoid the potential increased duty bill.”
Whatever the long-term impact of yesterday’s measure, there’s no escaping the fact that the shares of major online gaming firms such as Ladbrokes rose in the wake of the 2016 Budget announcement.