|According to the Guardian newspaper, online casino ToteSport.com has decided to switch its licensing from Curacao to the offshore tax haven of Alderney.|
The move has been seen by many as an embarrassment for the UK’s Labour Government as ToteSport.com is the Internet arm of Government-owned bookmaker Tote and chose the Channel Island over a mainland UK site.
The Guardian reported that the move would allow ToteSport.com to advertise freely in the UK while avoiding mainland tax and regulation as the levels imposed by present Prime Minister, then Chancellor, Gordon Brown have been widely criticised. The newspaper stated that Brown’s 15 percent ‘remote gaming duty’ tax has discouraged online gambling companies from other European jurisdictions from switching to the UK.
It quoted one operator as calling the tax ‘a joke’ and insisting that the industry would continue to target UK punters from offshore bases where they pay little or no tax.
A spokesperson for Tote, which is about to be privatised, said that the decision had been taken in order to allow ToteSport.com to advertise freely in the UK. Curacao-licensed operators do not qualify for UK advertising freedoms but Alderney is on the UK’s ‘white list’ permitting licensees to advertise in Britain.
The spokesperson said the decision to relocate to Alderney had been taken in full consultation with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
'This is a business decision for Tote,” said the spokesperson.
“The Tote is run as a business.'