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William Hill CEO Criticizes UK Gambling Regulation

15 August 2011 by admin

williamhillThe proposed online gambling regulation in the United Kingdom would be a big change from the current status. Right now, the UK simply uses a White List system where online casinos that are licensed in approved jurisdictions are allowed to operate there for free, devoid of any local regulation. The proposed changes would create a secondary licensing structure, which has left some gambling operators displeased. Over the weekend, William Hill’s CEO spoke out against the government plan.

Last year the sportsbook and online casino William Hill relocated from the UK to Gibraltar as a way of escaping the high UK tax rate. Recently Ralph Topping, the CEO of William Hill, was interviewed by the Gibraltar newspaper The Chronicle. In that interview, Topping criticized the UK government and in particular, the plan to create a secondary licensing structure where any offshore companies that operate in the UK have to be licensed by the UK government.

In the interview, Topping called the proposal unfair, noting that William Hill is already being taxed and paying for licensing fees in Gibraltar, and should not have to do so in the UK as well. When the paper asked if he could consider moving William Hill back to the UK, since they would have to be taxed and regulated there anyway, he said there was “not a chance in hell.”

Topping went on to criticize the government for trying to “salami slice” the industry rather than being reasonable. He said that Gibraltar has become the hub of online gambling in Europe and if the UK wanted in on the market, they would “have to get their thinking caps on.”

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