UK government urged to adopt new gambling strategy
The UK government has been urged to adopt a new gambling strategy to avoid missing out on a new wave of gambling tourism that could create thousands of jobs.
In a statement, consultancy Global Betting and Gaming Consultants (GBGC) said that the UK’s policy on internet gambling would produce little in terms of revenue and damage the Crown dependencies, including iGaming strongholds Alderney and the Isle of Man.
Warwick Bartlett, GBGC chief executive (pictured), believes the UK Government needs to re-think its policy towards casinos and internet gambling.
“Gambling tourism is a growing trend where people take holidays to go to resorts such as Las Vegas and Macau even though most economies are in recession,” he commented.
“Countries such as, Armenia, Belize, Cambodia, Singapore, US Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos have all adopted a casino policy that is designed to attract gamblers from neighbouring countries to good effect”.
According to GBGC, the gross gaming yield as a percentage of GDP exceeds 10 per cent in many of those smaller countries, whereas in the UK it represents only 1.1 per cent.
Bartlett also warned that the UK government’s proposed changes to the licensing and taxation of internet gaming could hurt offshore islands - such as Alderney - that have difficulty attracting industry due to transport and carriage expenditure and whose employment figures have been boosted by the arrival of iGaming businesses.
“The UK’s proposals to tax internet gamblers where they reside rather than where they bet would seriously damage the economies of jurisdictions that have hitherto been allies of the UK,” he added.
“Yet the proposals will hardly benefit the UK tax payer at all. I would not have thought the gain would be worth damaging the relationship with friendly jurisdictions”