On Tuesday the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association confirmed that it will, if necessary, launch litigation to prevent the British from implementing their 'point-of-consumption-based' plans in December 2014. This formidable threat would sign many of the major online gambling groups operating from the tax-friendly Gibraltar jurisdiction
In its statement the Association appeals to the UK Department of Culture Media and Sport to call off its plans to impose taxation and secondary licensing on offshore internet gambling operators wishing to access the British market.
“In the event that the Government determines to proceed with the proposed legislation and fiscal reforms, the GBGA will regrettably have little alternative but to institute judicial review proceedings to challenge these measures.”
The Association has obtained the necessary financial support by having raised a GBP 500,000 war chest from its 24 member companies for the fight.
The GBGA has also invoked European Union law, saying that the UK changes were both badly timed and “unlawful in terms of EU, national and international law and are liable to successful legal challenge.”
Besides being construed as unfair state aid for British-licensed companies, the measure would have a profound negative impact on the Gibraltar government taxes and employment, bearing in mind that over half the online gambling companies that would be affected by the new law were based in Gibraltar.
The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority chief regulator Phill Brear has also raised objections claiming that the proposals contradicted reality, research and the evidence base.
The DCMS Select Committee is to report on hearing conducted in London on Tuesday where it heard a wide range of evidence from a variety of interested parties which are nevertheless not binding on government.