As the UK government continues to move towards a new regulation regime for the gambling industry, leading figures from the US casino market are calling for lower tax rates.
American casino operators are demanding that the Treasury introduce a tax rate of no more than 20 per cent on gaming profits before they will invest large sums in the gaming industry, which is to be deregulated next year.
Las Vegas operators such as Harrah’s and MGM Mirage will not build the large resort casinos, envisaged as a key part of the Government’s deregulation plans, unless gaming duty is cut substantially.
Talks over a new gaming duty regime to suit US investors will be of central importance as the rules governing the UK gaming business are hammered out by the industry and MPs. Lloyd Nathan, the managing director of MGM Mirage Development, Europe, said: “The current tax rate would be prohibitive to the type of large scale development that the government is looking towards.”
The deregulation plans set out in a recent draft Bill envisage unlimited slot machines in large casinos and an end to the “permitted area” restrictions currently imposed on casino developers. Casinos will also be able to offer other types of gambling such as fixed odds betting and bingo.
pay 40 per cent tax at the moment, although smaller, provincial casinos pay lower tax rates depending on their profitability. The more profit a casino makes in the UK, the higher the tax rate it pays.
UK National Lottery Launches Online
The UK National Lottery organizer Camelot has announced the launch of their new website, making it possible for lottery players to choose their tickets online.
Players can now pick and pay for their Lotto numbers for the Wednesday, Saturday and daily play draws by visiting the National Lottery website.
Camelot says the introduction of Lotto online will make the draws more accessible than ever before.
The initiative follows the launch earlier in the year of interactive scratchcards on the internet.
Players of Lotto online can pick their numbers for up to eight weeks in advance and tickets can be bought between 0600 and 2300 BST each day.
On draw days, numbers can be bought up to 1930 GMT, as with ordinary tickets.
Dianne Thompson, chief executive of bitcoin dice Camelot, said the operator was confident the launch of Lotto on the internet would make the National Lottery games more popular.
She said: “It is an integral part of our programme to reinvigorate and broaden the appeal of the National Lottery through new media channels.
“We are anticipating significant sign up from consumers who may not have played Lotto before but are attracted by the convenience of playing over the internet.”
With Lotto online, players need not even check their numbers – the system keeps tickets safe and prompts winners to claim their prizes when they log on to the site.
The new prompting technology could go some way towards solving the problem of unclaimed prizes.
In November, the owner of a £2.6m winning ticket, bought in Northumberland for the Lotto Extra draw of 10 May, missed their chance to claim their prize.
Winners have 180 days to claim prizes.
The largest ever unclaimed National Lottery win was more than £3m.
All unclaimed prizes go to National Lottery charities.