William Hill Takes On HMRC For Proposed Online Gambling Tax

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Saturday 18 August 2012 10:30 am

William Hill could be taking a BIG gamble by taking on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Service, but then again taking BIG gambles is their business! The British Bingo industry has done this and won when Mecca went to European Union Supreme courts to support their contention that they were being over-taxed on ‘interval’ bingo games. It was worth the fight for Mecca (the Rank Group); we can’t remember the exact figure, but at the end of the day HMRS had to pay back over £36 million. This sum made a very nice difference to their bottom line in the year it was paid.

William Hill wants to challenge the Tax on "online" gambling profits – they are moaning about 15% – but we think they should count themselves lucky, this is what land operators have to pay out, and land bingo operators are required to pay out even more. 15% is the proposed tax level for online gambling businesses, and quite honestly, as they have had to pay no tax at all for more than ten years in the biz, what the heck is their problem?

We’ll tell you what their problem is – In the 2012 half year report, William Hill profits reached a whopping £68.9 million just for their online business. Who wants to pay out 15% of money like that, when they have previously needed to pay nothing at all? Taxation for this industry in the UK is only planned to fall due from the end of 2014, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer wants to raise approximately £200 million from online betting. We would assume that this amount also includes revenues from other forms of Internet gambling enterprises.

Virtually all of the large bookmaking and other gambling firms in the UK, which offer online services have moved operations to offshore sites such as Malta, Gibraltar, Alderney and Isle of Mann, in order to escape UK taxes. But if we think about it logically, while they are offering services to a UK audience and earning profits from this, surely they should be subject to some sort of taxation. We have to remember that there are only two sure things in life – one is death, the other is taxes, and there is no escaping the facts.

The company has already briefed their lawyers to build a case against the proposed taxation, which will be a "point of consumption tax". Lawyers that specialize in gambling law have warned that under European Law it is illegal to restrict free movement of goods or services for tax purposes, but this has not stopped countries such as Belgium and other European countries from jealously guarding their online gambling borders. Whether William Hill will be successful or not, based on these precedents and what has become tacit, remains to be seen. But whatever happens in the end, it seems that William Hill is taking no chances, and just like Baden Powell taught the Scouts – we should always be prepared.

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Online Gambling – The World In A Week

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Friday 17 August 2012 1:27 pm

There has plenty of interest been happening again in the world of the online gambling industry. First off, after reading that a Full Tilt\PokerStars deal was complete speculation and was not going to happen; rumour is rife again in the news that PokerStars is going to pull the beleaguered brand out of the dung-heap they have found themselves in. It seems that for Full Tilt Poker; they are still deep in the you know what, but it’s only the depth that varies. I think we need to stop speculating and let’s wait to see what happens in real time. Only when PokerStars confirms that the rumours are true, will we be prepared to believe it. In recent reports from Gaming Intelligence, this deal is now for real.

More rumours were rife last year over whether Zynga poker were going to monetize their poker game, and get into gambling online. This seems to have now been confirmed and Mark Pincus says they will foray into real-money gambling online in 2013. As CEO of this billion dollar company, he has recently also lost Billionaire status when the stocks of Zynga took a nose-dive and dropped 40% in value. It looks like he is going to have to do something drastic to get share prices up again. Interestingly enough, purely online gambling concerns are looking at getting into social gambling now too.

Brent Buckley from Absolute poker was in the news again. He is part of the “Black Friday Eleven” who were indicted for conspiring to commit bank and wire fraud. Buckley is the former payment processor for Absolute Poker. Sentence was passed for fourteen months in prison, but then he did admit guilt in December. Ira Rubin got a three year sentence and was labelled a “con man and fraudster.” Rubin was also accused of illegally processing payments for Absolute Poker, PokerStars and FullTilt.

There has been some good news in online gambling too, as a couple of Playtech jackpots were landed. One – the ‘Holy Grail Jackpot’ from the Spamalot slot which is based on the Monty Python series. This lucky winner landed a mahoosive £692,209.05 prize. The other big winner was playing the Iron Man video slot and landed an impressive £558,306.01. Playtech is understandably proud to have been able to deliver these wins.

Look out for some great Olympic-themed promotions now that the summer games have started, and we are not only referring to sports-betting online. Online Bingo clubs are gamely going along with the flow, and British-based bingo sites are the place to look out for these offers.

We checked out William Hill where the Olympics aren’t really mentioned, but they are celebrating Glorious Goodwood, and we also checked out Costa Bingo where they are running a Track and Field event. Wink, Posh, Red Bus, Bingo Street, 88 Ladies and Tasty Bingo have a £10K Bingo for Gold event running as well as a £10K free summer Joy Pot, so, if you get tired of watching equestrian events, gymnastics, football and swimming, you can always get active too and play online bingo.

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Eight Main Events at Eight Different Card Rooms to Dominate London Poker Festival

Posted by Gambling News | Poker News | Friday 17 August 2012 1:22 pm

Over £1,000,0000 in prize money up for grabs during September’s poker festival

With over 50 events and over £1,000,000 in prize money, the London Poker Festival will position the UK capital at the centre of the poker universe this September. Bluff Europe Magazine has brought together eight different card rooms to create a special calendar of events that includes tournaments and cash games to suit all pockets, parties, comedy nights, a Black Belt Poker Academy and the British Poker Awards. The calendar will be dominated, however, by eight exciting main events.

First up is the LCI UK Poker Tour, which makes it’s first ever stop in London, at the Casino at the Empire from 12 to 16 September. This main event is a £200+£20 tournament with a whopping £50k guaranteed that kicks off on 14th.

On 13th, the Unibet Open flies into town and sets up camp at Aspers in Stratford, bringing with it all the parties and fun events that have become the signature of this unique tour. The main event is a €1,500+15 NLH freezeout.

That’s followed by the Big Bluff Club’s “Big Five-O” tournament, also a £200 freezeout with a massive £50,000 guaranteed. It’s a deepstack, too – with a 50k starting stack and a 50-minute clock.

On 17th, we have the British Poker Awards, a ceremony to honour the movers and shakers on the UK poker scene, at the HMS President on the Thames. Voting is now live at www.thebritishpokerawards.com and tickets are available at www.thebritishpokerawards.eventbrite.co.uk for £20 each.

Next, the GUKPT Main Event comes to the Vic on 20th for a £1,000 + £70 NLH Main Event freezeout with a 20,000 starting stack and a one-hour clock. It’s a three-day event supported by a host of mid-level side events and satellites to the main.

Then, after a year’s hiatus, the English Poker Open comes to the Fox Poker Club from the 18th to 21st September. This year, the English Poker Open is a £2,000+£180 entry event with a £250,000 guaranteed prize pool and is sponsored by RakeTheRake.

If that’s too rich for your blood, low stakes fun abounds at the Western September Festival in W3, with a £150 + 3 NLH tournament with a £17,500 guarantee. Finally, leg 12 of the Superstack Tour hits the Bluff @ The Mint card room. Low entries and good structures are what this series is all about, and this event is a pleasingly affordable £150 + £15.

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All Slots Casino welcomes new players with a bountiful bonus package

Posted by Gambling News | Casino Bonuses,Casino News | Saturday 11 August 2012 10:00 am

All Slots online casino is welcoming you into its online casino site this month with open arms, and a rather delightful welcome package to boot too. The famed online casino sites not only offers great games, masterful mind-boggling slots, tantalising table adventures and ingenious instant win classic, but a sign up deal that will make joining this online casino, very hard to say no.

So what have they got in store that might prod the players in their direction then?

Any new player, who chooses to do their business with All Slots Casino, can pick up a wondrous welcome bonus of a 100% match deposit bonus, up to £200. The site details an easy to grasp table for those of you unfamiliar with match deposit bonuses too. For example players who lay down £25 will receive an additional £25 making their gaming total then £50 to start off with. Similarly any player who deposits £50, £100, £150 or £200 will also have their money doubled with the 100% bonus, meaning their beginning balance will be £100, £200, £300 and £400 respectively.

Any future deposits a player makes to All Slots Casino will also be treated with a match deposit bonus, albeit a significantly smaller one at just a 10% match. This shouldn’t be looked on as a negative though, as the player will still be receiving free money every single time they deposit cash into their All Slots Casino account.

For example, if you deposit £100 into your account at a later date, you’ll bag a free tenner. For £500 you’ll get an additional £50 and so on and so forth up to the monthly limit, which is £450 free when you deposit £4,500 a month. It is very unlikely however that anybody will deposit this amount per month, so enjoy the bonus for what it is. Handy and welcome!

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Deal Between PokerStars And FTP – Only Pie In the Sky – What a Bluff?!

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Poker News | Wednesday 1 August 2012 5:01 pm

Whether or not it was a huge bluff that PokerStars was buying out what was left of Full Tilt Poker (FTP) remains to be seen. There was massive excitement surrounding this topic just before the World Series Of Poker took place, but now the fuss seems to have died down. Popular opinion has it that the PokerStars/FTP Deal was only pie in the sky, and nothing much more. But of course, just as the possibility of the deal was conjecture, so, too is this opinion; but stranger things have been known to happen.

Discussions do however appear to have faded into the background. Rumour had it that PokerStars had been working with the U. S. DoJ to see if they could realize what Group Bernard Tapie could not. According to certain poker professionals who are in-the-know – these talks have ‘fizzled out’ – were "only hope and nothing more."(Matt Glantz).

Obviously it is wishful thinking for the online poker community to want this matter to be resolved. Any deal that any poker company might make with the US DoJ would have a vested interest for former poker players at FTP. It is no secret that the website was grossly mismanaged, and that millions of dollars worth of player funds were not been paid back to its members. The chances that these members will ever get their money back are indeed incredibly slim, despite the fact that there are half a dozen class action lawsuits still pending against FTP. We know that this deal would have brought some hope to FTP former-members, but there are huge problems involved for any online gambling or other company to attempt to rescue FTP from the morass.

First off we know that FTP’s Ray Bitar has faced the charges for Black Friday indictments, and plead not guilty; but PokerStars founder – Isai Scheinberg has not faced up to any charges, and does not intend to plead. This would probably be a pre-requisite for any DoJ deal, and PokerStars wants to avoid any leadership prosecutions. The Department of Justice (DoJ) is unlikely to decide not to pursue their criminal case against both Scheinberg and executive Paul Tate.

Even more telling with regards any discussion deal is the fact that there is no Federal landscape for online poker in the USA – so there is no ‘nationwide’ environment for PokerStars to get back into. Currently state-by-state individual changing of online poker laws is taking place, but the wheels of power are turning slowly, and there is not a great deal of incentive for PokerStars (a massive online poker offering in Europe) to offer ’íntrastate’ online gambling to the USA. Although to get a foot in the door; the efforts may be worthwhile. But then again, it would be smart business for big USA brands such as Caesars to keep this brand out of the USA, and Caesars as well as other big gambling brands have a lot of political influence.

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