The UK Scratchcards and Online gambling market is booming and despite the fact that the economy is fragile there are still many opportunities for growth in the UK gaming market.

Online scratch cards  make up a large sector of the online casino market in the UK. The scratchcard format has always been popular in the UK as traditional scratchcards have always been a favorite for many people who like to pop down to their local corner shop and buy a scratchie.

The advent of online scratch cards and in particular mobile online gambling apps has significantly widened the online scratch card player base.

Major online gambling operators such as Ladbrokes and William Hill have all dedicated mobile online gambling apps for all our smartphones and tablet devices.

This ensures that all our favorite online scratch cards are always within reach whenever and wherever we so choose to play.

The variety and scope of online scratch cards is also a major contributing factor to their ever increasing popularity.

Online scratch cards cater for all tastes of potential players with scratchcards based on sports themes such as World Champions to scratch cards based on romantic themes such as Mega Love.

However online gambling firms need to take note of Chancellor George Osborne when he unveils his budget in March. According in to reports by analysts at Oriel there is always built-in risks for gaming stocks before a budget but this year Oriel believes that there could be some real changes proposed by the Chancellor.

Oriel is an independent British stockbroker and research house. It was founded eight years ago by a group of bankers, brokers and analysts from large investment banks.

According to Oriel there is a good possibility that the Chancellor will be looking to tax offshore gambling operating companies.

Presently many big UK gaming companies operate from Gibraltar which are considered tax havens. These companies operate offshore in order to avoid paying the 15% tax rate that UK based operators have to pay.

The UK Government has already stated in the past that it is considering changing the tax structure of companies that offer online casino gambling to British consumers from outside the UK. The Government is considering raising these taxes for these offshore companies.

Online scratch cards are just one of the types of online gambling which the UK Government is looking to for the possibility of raising additional income sources for the troubled economy.

Oriel believes that with the upcoming budget, the Chancellor could reconsider the issue of taxation of offshore online gaming companies which could result in a gross profits tax introduced for offshore operators in late 2013 or 2014.

Oriel believes that the rate for offshore operators would have to be similar or the same as that of onshore online operators which would mean that offshore casino operators could start paying a 15% levy on their gaming income. Major offshore gaming operators such as Betfair, William Hill and Ladbrokes would be hardest it by the proposed tax levy’s should it come into effect.

In light of the uncertainty before the upcoming budget, Oriel has downgraded Ladbrokes, and William Hill to “reduce” and have even removed Betfair from their “buy” list.

Should these tax reforms become law it is set to burden these gaming powerhouses with a huge tax bill. Analysts believe that in light of the difficult economic situation in the UK, the Treasury is looking for alternative methods to raise additional income through taxes in 2013 or 2014.

There are still some very positive moves in the online gambling industry in the UK. In the last few weeks the software giant Playtech demonstrated that there are many opportunities to expand in the UK online gambling industry.Playtech  have recently acquired quite a few companies which include Geneity who develop sportsbetting and lottery software for Betfair and Ladbrokes. Playtech have also managed to raise over £100 million for acquisitions they did in Gemany with Merkur-Gauselmann and in South Africa with Peermont.Playtech has been a great provider of online scratch cards too.

There have long been arguments to stat taxing offshore online casino operators the same rate as land based operators. Many believe that the land based operators are prejudiced by the current status quo and further argue that the British Land based gambling operators provide much needed employment and could create more jobs in the future in contrast to the offshore gambling operators.

Online scratch cards have the advantage of offering many millions of people the chance to start scratching and winning with very little cash layout. Scratchcards start from as low as 10p and could provide many potential online scratch card players with some much needed instant cash winnings.

In these challenging difficult economic times online scratch cards give the average Joe an affordable and responsible for of online gambling which could reward them with a life changing jackpot prize of over £1,000,000!