New UK Online Gambling Proposal to Be Challenged by Major UK Bookmaker

Will Hill gearing up for a big fight

An announcement came this week from the biggest UK bookie, William Hill plc, that it has briefed its lawyers to prepare a challenge to the proposed new UK law.

The point in the bill that seems to outrage the company is the provision based on which offshore companies accessing the British market will be taxed on a 'point of consumption' basis, and forced to take out secondary licensing with the Gambling Commission.

It has already been cautioned by betting lawyers that the proposed tax is 'illegal' under European Union law as it is an attempt to restrict the free movement of goods and services for tax purposes.

According to Will Hill's CEO Ralph Topping, he had received 'encouraging noises' from lawyers that this will be a solid case for his company.

It was added by Jason Chess, betting and gaming partner at law firm Wiggin: 'You cannot restrict the free movement of goods and services in order to raise your own national tax. We can't stop BMW from selling BMWs in this country because the tax is paid in Germany.'

Betting authorities in Gibraltar are also considering taking the UK to court over the tax amid fears it could encourage bookies to shift their online businesses back to Britain.

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