Another Day, Another Round

6 March 2000
What the heck is happening in the U.K.? Rumor has it that the government is considering legislation that would prevent its citizens from betting with offshore betting sites. Typically, British punters bet offshore to avoid paying the 6.75 percent betting duty that's tacked onto wagers in Britain.

In response, the Bookmakers' Committee of the Horserace Betting Levy Board has once again written to Treasury minister Stephen Timms pleading for a reduction in the levy to three percent.

"The government seems to be torn between a desire to protect existing short-term tax revenue, and the prospect of developing the U.K. as a major world force in gambling, with all the long-term revenue, economic, and employment growth that would bring," said Warwick Bartlett, chairman of the bookmakers' committee.

He added, "But there is no real choice. Prohibition would cut the U.K. industry off at the knees and the gainers would not be the Treasury, but overseas owned Internet gambling sites. There are now over 200 gambling websites and new ones are opening every week. The dam has burst, and the government must see that."

Click here to view Bartlett's letter to the Treasury.