Former Chief Minister, Sir Peter Caruana, has spoken out in an interview with The Times on plans for the UK Government’s POC tax saying they will cause significant damage to the economy of Gibraltar.
According to Caruana, who is acting as a consultant to the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association, the impact would be huge as 60 percent of online bets in the UK are being placed via Gibraltar-based websites.
The introduction of the UK POC tax could affect up to 1 300 jobs in Gibraltar and knock GBP 20 million off Gibraltar’s government revenues, the report said.
The Gibraltar Times cites Sir Peter as saying that “it is a very unhappy coincidence” that the tax move comes as “Gibraltar is at the forefront of online gambling. But this is a global industry that is highly competitive and low margin. People are only one or two clicks away from companies based all over the world.”
“Perversely, if this is pushed through, there will be less protection and the UK’s taxes will be jeopardised,” he added.
In related news, UK Conservative MP, John Whittingdale has told the Commons that Gibraltar would not consider legal action against the UK, following his visit to the island but pointed out that in the Christian Action Research and Education’s opinion “one or two jurisdictions, particularly Gibraltar, operate slightly stronger regulatory conditions than those in the UK. In particular, the Gibraltar rules governing the reporting of suspicion that individuals might have a problem with their gambling habits are slightly stronger.”
“The UK Gambling Commission might want to consider whether it can tighten its licensing conditions, particularly on problem gambling, which is rightly a great concern to everybody who considers gambling and the policies governing it,” Whittingdale reportedly told the Commons during the debate on the UK Gaming Bill.