Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne hopes to entice the largest online gaming companies to operate from the UK by proposing a multi-million pound tax cut.
The draft Bill outlines the dangers of unregulated offshore companies and argues that control by the Gambling Commission would avoid betting scandals such as match fixing.
The government hopes to recapture some of the £2.1 billion revenue these companies generate by implementing a severe reduction in taxes.
The country’s gambling giants were forced to move operations abroad following the introduction of Labour’s 15% tax on internet based betting companies in 2005. Osborne’s planned tax cut would save an estimated £100 million per annum for the 18 largest companies with prominently UK custom who currently operate offshore.
Sceptics, such as Tax Justice Network director John Christensen argue that tax levels should remain the same. The International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University warned that online gambling could result in serious addiction problems due to its 24/7 access.
Opponents of the bill quote the all restrictive gambling laws of Germany and USA as a model to follow. However, a high position government source claims the Treasury is more than ready to go ahead with the proposed draft Bill.