Betfair warns Treasury over tax rate changes - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Betfair, the betting exchange, has issued a veiled threat to the Government that it will move its operations offshore if it gets slapped with a heavier tax rate than traditional bookmakers.

Betfair's chairman Sir Robert Horton said in the company's annual report, published yesterday, that he had "pointed out" to the Treasury, which is reviewing how betting exchanges are taxed, the "considerable drawbacks of introducing an inequitable tax structure among UK-based operators".

Betfair wants the Government to maintain the status quo of the same rate of tax for traditional bookmakers and betting exchanges, which match bets between individuals. Betfair's high street rivals argue that many of Betfair's customers are acting as professional bookmakers and should pay the gross profits tax which they pay.

Betfair has recently been granted a licence to operate in Malta, and is prepared to make a full-scale move there if the Government bows to the high street betting shops' demands.

It says all its customers should be treated the same, whether they back a horse to win or "lay" it to lose, as Betfair, which is a licensed bookmaker, pays its fair share gross profits tax on its customers' winnings. "Our gross profits tax payment rose to £14.3m from £9.3m last year," Stephen Hill, the chief executive of Betfair, said yesterday when announcing its full-year results.

Pre-tax profits for the year rose 74 per cent despite taking a £4m hit to bail out customers of its rival, Sporting Options, which went bust last year.

Mr Hill declined to comment on whether Betfair is soon to float, but it is understood to have been lining up bankers to take on the task and a decision on whether to pursue a listing is expected within the next month.

Other news from around the same time

CHELSEA STAR IN POKER RUCKUS - Sunday 12th of June 2005

A CHELSEA star trashed a hotel room after gambling away thousands in a card school, striker Didier D....


Don't bet on Web gambling crackdown, experts say - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Online-poker company PartyGaming has warned investors that the U.S. government could interfere with ....


Casinos bet on slots, chips with star images - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Celebrities are cashing in at casinos by allowing their images to appear on slot machines and poker ....


Tabcorp Joins in on Singapore Casino Bid - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Australia's Tabcorp Joins P&O Cruises for Singapore Casino Bid SINGAPORE (AP) -- Australia....


World's Richest Sporting Event Keeps Getting Richer - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Organizers of the World Series of Poker, the richest sporting event on the planet, today predicted t....


Casino Rouge to pay $60,000 for violating exclusion rule - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Louisiana will receive almost $60,000 from Casino Rouge because a person on the Voluntary Exclusion ....


Stanley Leisure plc - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Stanley Leisure plc is pleased to announce the completion of the disposal of itsRetail Bookmaking Op....


PartyGaming advisers get £54m fee pot - Sunday 12th of June 2005

ADVISERS to next week's £4.7bn stock market flotation of internet poker giant PartyGaming could pic....


Governments can become addicts, too - Sunday 12th of June 2005

I can’t help but notice how quickly the city of Detroit became addicted to the money the three cas....


Gaming industry braces for another hurricane season - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Tourists traveling crowded U.S. 90 along the casino-dotted Mississippi Gulf Coast are greeted by a t....