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William Hill Bingo Move May Have Been Premature

Written by: Nikola Zugic on 24/01/2010 14:38

William Hill is a large gaming operation in the UK, they have High Street betting shops and take all kinds of bets. It was natural for their business to progress into an online presence, and with this online presence they launched an online bingo site.

As bingo is taxed much higher in the UK than any other kind of gambling activity, it was also natural for William Hill to move their bingo offering to an offshore operations venue. A penny saved is after all a penny earned! However this move may have proved to be premature, but not only for William Hill Bingo, many other UK sites may be looking at a new levy for online gaming providing services to customers in the UK

But then again, this presents its own problems, because the EU has to have their say too, the UK is part of the EU, and to get a separate system to regulate the UK bingo and online gambling industry is not going to be a simple matter. Most online bingo operators have their businesses in tax havens such as Cyprus, Gibraltar and Alderney.

Gerry Sutcliffe - the sports minister recently announced that offshore bingo operators who have UK customer bases, should be subject to holding a special license which is answerable to the UK Gambling Commission.

The reason for this is to regulate the industry under the guise of better being able to spot suspicious betting patterns or problem gamblers, but I believe this is just a smoke screen. Expressing concern for what are commonly known as “Vulnerable” people is really just another government ploy to fill their coffers with tax money they believe they should be earning from these sites. Nevertheless, there is still a long process of consultation ahead, and land based industries such as William Hill and the big betting and bingo operators are going to have to be consulted in-depth first.

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