Is Online Poker about to Crash in UK and Australia?

By Debra SaundersGoogle
One minute the US players were there, and the next day they were gone. Could the UK and the Australian governments be planning something similar?

Today a volatile world economy and lack of tax revenue for many countries has meant that the government financers have been given the task to look assign each industry sector a way to firstly stimulate economic activity or secondly find ways to get tax where the tax can be taken.

One of the most profitable industries to fall into the second category is the gambling industry. Online casinos are a particular target because many of them operate offshore, and so they pay no tax or very little while benefiting from the clientele they gain in the countries they have members. For many, they may ask why these companies are allowed to operate in this way.

It is true that these businesses need employees inside the countries they operate for their help desks. The more competitive the casino industry becomes, the more the online casinos are beginning to add value by providing a more personalised service. So there you have it – employment. Apart from that there isn’t much to rave about when you think most of the online gambling cash is exiting the country with very little going back into the country the online companies operate.

This is where the threat for the online casinos and poker sites comes from – ‘tax’. We have seen how the US have designed a system whereby all taxes and licences are paid at state or federal levels before the money leaves the country as a profit heading towards the online gambling organisations. Now the UK and Australian governments are the two nations most likely to follow suit. They both have holes in their budgets that they could do with filling, and the online gaming industry is just the key.

In the UK, the Labour party are already preparing for the up and coming election. They have pledged more restriction to be added to the online gambling firms operating in the UK. The current government have already put in measures to ensure that all online gambling operations in the UK have to pay licencing fees to operate. However, if Labour get in power these rules could be tightened further to squeeze every penny they can.

Australia has already had elections, and the new government vowed similar online gambling and tax rules to those we can expect in the UK. Whether this poses to be a threat to the online gambling industry is another question.

We certainly don’t want to see online poker or casinos disappear in the same fashion they vanished on the US scene. All we ask is that the services remain as they are without a long ‘no play’ gap. The US has gone almost three years without online gaming – that would be a disaster in the UK or Australia.

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