Bet365 Scrutinized for Benefitting from Tax Haven

Despite the fact that UK leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband held a campaign against tax avoidance, the party's generous benefactor apparently saved millions in taxes by operating from Gibraltar.

Therefore, the benefactor Peter and Denise Coates' online gambling firm bet365 found itself scrutinized lately due to reports that more than a third of its profits come from its British overseas territory-based subsidiary. This apparently saved bet365 some GBP 13 Million in tax between 2009 and 2011, as it was obliged to pay only 10 percent in Gibraltar compared to a steep 28 percent in the United Kingdom at the time.

And what triggered the most interest is the fact that Coates' has made generous donations to the Labour Party, including GBP 10 000 donated to Ed Miliband this year and a total of GBP 300 000 donated to the party over the last decade, even though Miliband's draft election manifesto states as a priority that "Labour believes addressing tax avoidance at an individual and corporate level must be a priority," detailing that "At home, this means making it plain to the Crown Dependencies [such as Gibraltar] we will expect them to observe the letter and the spirit of the law."

It was assessed by a bet365 spokesperson that it is unfair to highlight the tax advantages it enjoys because it pays the UK tax on the majority of its operations, unlike its many competitors. "Bet365 is the only major online bookmaker that remains licensed in the UK and as such pays more than GBP 130 million in annual taxes to the UK Treasury," it was added.

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