William Hill Criticises UK Government Policy
By Staff
A day after announcing its interest in purchasing parts of the State-owned bookmaker, The Tote, Britain’s William Hill has attacked the Government's ‘flip-flopping’ gambling policy and asked for ‘room to grow’.

Ralph Topping, Chief Executive officer for Britain’s second largest bookmakers, called for a cut in the tax paid by UK-based bookmakers on Internet gambling and warned the Government against any crackdowns on fixed-odds betting terminals.

'We paid $522.4 million in taxes last year plus $58.7 million in levies to the horseracing and greyhound industries and employ 14,000 people,' Topping told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

'This business has to be allowed some room to grow. What I am saying to the Government is please think things through from all angles.'

A large portion of William Hill's tax bill is the 15 percent impost bookies are required to pay on gross profits with Topping arguing that this makes UK-based bookmakers uncompetitive compared to their offshore rivals.

'A 15 percent gross profits tax on online gambling is not appropriate in this environment,' said Topping.

'The Government said in 2001 that the UK would become the centre for e-commerce businesses and they have failed. It's because they are not sure of what they are doing. They flip-flop all the time.'
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