eGaming Review January 2014 - Page 45

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? The Bill looks likely to be implemented in June of this year and operators must now be quick to prepare for the compliance issues and hit on profits. But even then there is talk that operators may be unable to obtain a licence in time for the launch as a result of a short time period between inviting applications and the commencement date. A KPMG report commissioned by the RGA concluded that the tax will result in a less viable UK market, will fail to reduce unlicensed activity, force many firms to go out of business, and that the proposals are unlikely to lead to the stated goal of increased public revenues. And there are worries that the tax will have a negative impact on the economies of certain jurisdictions home to UK-facing companies, with Gibraltar predicting its government will lose up to £20m in revenue in addition to close to 1,300 jobs – a third of the total employed in the industry – being under threat. WINNERS AND LOSERS The tax is expected to have a significant effect on the smaller operators, with many analysts predicting increased industry consolidation. However, operators such as Sky Betting and Gaming and bet365, which already pay GPT of 15% on sportsbook revenues, remain in a strong position to take the hit. Leading light New Jersey grabbed the headlines in 2013 when it launched egaming in the state F E A T U R E 2013 : W H A T W E L E A R N E D announcement by the UK Treasury that UK-facing egaming firms will be subject to a 15% tax on all remote gaming revenues from UK customers. The general industry consensus, however, instead favours a tax on gross profits of 10% or less but looks to be facing an uphill battle to fight the impending tax. 02 NEW JERSEY HAS LIFT OFF After what seemed like an eternity of uncertainty and speculation, the New Jersey egaming market finally launched in November 2013, thus becoming the most populous state in the US to legalise online gambling WHAT HAPPENED? Trump Plaza, Trump Taj Mahal, Caesars Atlantic City, and Bally Park Place all went live. However, missing from the pack on the initial launch date was Golden Nugget, which said it needed more time, and PokerStars, whose licence application has been suspended by the regulator for two years. Despite a few teething p &