Taxing the internet.
Yup, right up there with herding cats and nailing soup to the wall.
Online gamblers could turn to unregulated markets if Government plans to tax betting operators on the basis of where bets are placed are introduced, a report commissioned by a leading betting operator has said. Placing a 10% 'point of consumption' (POC) tax rate on remote gambling could result in up to 27% of online consumer …
...is a farce.
I have my own experience of complaining to one of the regulators that is whiltelisted by the British regulator: it wasn't worth the email I sent to them. It took months to get a response and more months to finally get a resolution in the casinos favour, but it was clear there the regulator didn't give a toss.
Most seriously, look at Full Tilt Poker. This was an online poker company which has stolen hundreds of millions of pounds worth of deposits from players - and it was regulated by the Alderney Gambling Commission which supposedly had a good reputation. What 'regulation' had they done over the years to ensure Full Tilt hadn't nicked a nine digit sum of money from players?
I could go on, suffice to say regulation has to have teeth. Whitelisted regulators simply ride on the coattails of the British regulator, whilst not actually regulating. I am therefore in favour of this policy: Willy Hill can GTF.
Surely if the UK government banned advertising from gambling businesses which don't pay UK tax or comply with UK regulation, together with heavy fines for companies which carry that advertising (to stop Google, Facebook etc ads), offshore gabling companies would find it very difficult to compete against those who can communicate with their target audience? Granted if as a consumer you still want to go and seek out an offshore firm you'll still be able to, but in reality most people will go with brands they're familiar with and this is a competitive industry...
@"time to develop" "effective enforcement mechanisms to limit the ability of grey market operators"
How are they planning to do that? The only way I could see them having any chance of enforcement (and it would still fail), would be for them to add ridiculously Authoritarian control over the Internet. That level of Internet control and censorship of web sites to ban any that don't conform to the governments wishes would be extremely harmful to freedom of speech.
Also what right does the government have to keep adding ever more taxes. For centuries people have fought against ever more government taxes and yet now they add taxes at will and expect us to accept it all without question and to keep paying ever more into the ever more expensive government ballooning bureaucracy system.
"The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy."
The government needs to keep paying the salaries of politicians and bureaucrats. As those salaries increase and more and more consultants/middle managers/advisers/spin doctors get hired then more money needs to be brought in to keep them all well fed and happy.
Since the largest repository of money resides in the pockets of the proles the government continues to wring as much of it out of them as possible while maintaining a pet police force and a firm grip over liberties to reduce the chances of an uprising that overthrows the bunch of overpaid time wasters.
If an online company outside your jurisdiction is providing a service you don't approve* of, order the banking system to stop dealing with them.
As the UK banking system has been effectively nationalised, this would surely be trivial for the UK government?
* I always suspected the US antipathy to online gambling was due to the dominance of non-US firms rather than morality. Globalisation is only allowed if you're doing the globalising.
Looks to me like an attempt to get the online gambling providers to move back onshore by removing the incentive to move offshore. Indeed, if the tax only applies to offshore providers (though I'm not sure if that would be allowed in European law), there would be a clear incentive for the providers to move back onshore: 10% of gross profits will be much less than 5% of takings.
Lets face it we can't tax people who have shops and offices all over the UK - they somehow manage to offshore profits to 'head office' which is always in a low tax country. A transaction tax would be the only way of doing things for them, but the government doesn't want to upset its friends who provide the chairmanships etc. (same for both Labour and Conservative).
A transaction tax would be difficult to apply to online busines.
Maybe therefore the best approach is to scrap all business tax entirely?
After all tax is there to pay for defence/policing - and only the people are interested in being defended. If we also want insurance against illness, redundancy etc. then that is a 'national insurance' and only applies to the people.
If government was reduced to defence, collecting those two revenue streams and organising the insurance we could shrink it right down to size.
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