Rank Casino Group Ponders Offshore HQ
By Miriam H
Leading gaming company Rank is contemplating relocating its telephone and Internet sportsbetting business offshore in reaction to steep tax rises marked out for the gambling industry in the last Budget.

Gordon Brown increased the duty on casinos from a sliding scale of 2.5 to 40 per cent to between 15 and 50 per cent in the 2007 Budget. The sharp tax rise would have shaved £8 million or 20 percent from Rank's casino operating profit if it had been implemented in 2006.

Rank Chief Executive, Ian Burke, confirmed that the company was deliberating the transfer of its Blue Square betting operation to an overseas location, which would give them the chance to sidestep the compulsory 15 percent gross profits tax required for UK-based remote betting operations.

Mr Burke said: 'It is something we would consider, but we have not made a decision yet.'

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