The biggest day in the history of betting, according to some, will arrive three months ahead of sche...
The biggest day in the history of betting, according to some, will arrive three months ahead of schedule, Financial Secretary Paul Boateng last week.
British punters will be able to bet tax-free for the first time in 33 years from 6 October . The current 10% tax on betting stakes is to be replaced with a tax on bookmakers' gross profits.
Paul Boateng explained: "The old tax on punters has been in place almost unchanged since 1966. But we realised it was not going to work in the 21st century and would mean UK-based bookmakers losing out on the global betting market. Our reforms mean punters will get tax-free betting, bookmakers will see increased turnover, and both racing and Government revenues will share in the benefits."
The betting industry has applauded the news. John Brown, Chairman of William Hill, said: "The Government is to be congratulated on the speedy implementation of the Chancellor's initiative. We will be ready on the day for every bet we take worldwide to come back the UK."
Warwick Bartlett, Chairman of the British Betting Offices Association, commented: "The onus is now on the betting industry to deliver and make the UK a centre for global gambling. We have already received enquiries from the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden from bookmakers interested in coming to the UK as a result of the introduction of a gross profits tax."
The international interest in these events reinforces one of the key objectives of the reforms, which is to enable UK-based bookmakers to target an increased share of the growing global market for telephone and Internet betting.
On the weekend that the reform takes effect punters will be able to take a gamble on England's final World Cup Group match at home to Greece.
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