William Hill Blasts UK over Gambling Changes

Published August 16, 2011

William Hill Blasts UK over Gambling Changes

Online gambling operator calls proposed reforms "stepping on a minefield."

William Hill is perhaps the best known betting operator in Great Britain, so when the company comes out and criticizes the British government over proposed new gambling reforms people stand up and take note.

'Stepping on a minefield'

Hill's CEO Ralph Topping slammed the government for its proposed changes to the licensing and taxation of online gambling, telling the Chronicle newspaper in an exclusive interview that it is "stepping on a minefield."

Topping accused politicians of taking an unreasonable approach with its proposal, saying: If politicians act holistically, people might think that was a reasonable approach, but if they salami slice things, they're in danger of making huge mistakes and getting into legal territory they wouldn't enjoy."

William Hill already moved its entire internet gambling division to Gibraltar to avoid high taxation in the UK, which was affecting its ability to compete with other European gambling companies.

Britain's US-inspired proposal

British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is behind the push to reform the country's gambling regulations in the aftermath of Black Friday, in which major online poker operators were indicted by US prosecutors.

Under the measures, new restrictions could be imposed on advertising activities of offshore operators, and the White List, which allows brands to function without receiving UK Gambling Commission licenses, could also be headed for the dustbin. This is so that offshore operators will also be brought under Britain's taxation regime.

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