There was an interesting report published in the Telegraph written by Rank plc Chairman Ian Burke who brought up the issue of equal taxation for both online casinoand offline taxation.
The current global economic turmoil is prompting may Governments to try and legislate online casino gambling in a way that the revenues from taxation will help improve the general economic situation.
To me it seems that scratch cards are a vital force in the gambling industry and the popularity of online scratch cards is growing. One of the main reasons for such popularity of the scratch cards is their affordability which is a major factor in these tricky economic times.
The issue of taxation is a very tricky and controversial topic and it must be noted that Rank plc has interests in both online casino and offline gambling products. Ian Burke voiced his controversial view that favors an equal taxing regime for both online casino and land-based gambling. This is in direct contrast to many top industry experts who believe that increase taxation on online casino gambling would result in more harm than good.
Burke pointed out that The European Parliament published a report before Christmas which ruled that online casino and offline based sectors are in direst competition with each other and any legislation which favors one of the parties was in fact nothing less than state sanctioned aid.
The report further pointed out that the present tax system in the UK favors online casinos which offer less employment opportunities and regulatory oversights to protect the customer. This is to the detriment of land based casinos which do offer employment opportunities and is more strictly regulated. He went on to say that the current legal situation is not only unfair but may very well be illegal and at best misguided.
The above claims are not new and have been made repeatedly to the Parliamentary Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport. The committee was convened to analyze and understand the full potential effects on gambling legislation in the UK and also to try and understand why the expected benefits have not yet been realized.
Burke emphasized the current difficult economic situation. Britain’s land based gaming industry has the ability to provide much needed employment opportunities which could prove a vital boost to the economy.
However Burke believes that the only way this inequality between online casino and offline casino industries can be rectified is by regulated taxes and uniform regulations for both sectors.