UK betting exchanges face taxing future

Tax rules achanging...

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Internet betting exchanges face a more taxing future - Chancellor Gordon Brown is expected to change rules to squeeze more cash from websites which allow punters to place bets with each other.

The changes follow a National Audit Office report which found online exchanges paid just £7.3m in tax last year despite taking bets worth more than £2.67bn. This compares to £376m paid by bookmakers on bets worth £30bn.

Quoting a "well-placed industry source", The Observer wrote yesterday: "The duty and the commission that exchanges make just doesn't add up. It's all pointing to the Treasury acting to stop this."

Traditional bookmakers now pay tax on gross profits rather than punters paying tax on their winnings. But increasing popularity of betting exchanges has reduced the amount of revenue Customs and Excise has collected.

The NAO also raised concerns that Customs needs more technical expertise to help it ensure new types of gambling are compliant with legislation.

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