Wednesday, January 19, 2005Contact: Maurits Bruggink
Tax man eyes betting exchanges

An official report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has lead to speculations in the UK that the Finance Minister (Chancellor) Gordon Brown will soon introduce higher taxes for betting exchanges.

The report revealed that betting exchanges contributed only UK£7.3m in tax in 2004 on na total betting turnover of more than £2.67bn. This is in great contrast with the UK£376m tax contribution by bookmakers on a betting turnover of UK£30bn.

Other conclusions in the NAO report:

Betting volume generated betting shops has more than quadrupled since the abolition of the betting tax for bettors in 2001.

The report identifies the particular possibility of money laundering offered by betting exchanges, whereby a bettor opens two accounts at a betting exchange, places ànd lays its own bets. The NAO suggests more openness in exchange transactions.

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