Racing: Move abroad for Chandler

BRITISH PUNTERS will be able to cut the amount of betting tax they pay by 66 per cent from Monday, following the announcement yesterday that Victor Chandler is to move his entire telephone betting operation to Gibraltar. Chandler's clients will be able to call free of charge, and will pay only a "service charge" of three per cent on top of their bets, rather than the nine per cent betting tax paid by the customers of rival, British-based firms.

The move comes as Britain's bookmakers prepare to face fresh competition from Ireland, where the betting tax will be reduced to five per cent from July. "It's the only sensible commercial move we can make given the imminent attack the UK industry is set to face in July," Michael Carlton, the managing director of Victor Chandler International, said yesterday.

"Unlike Ladbrokes and Hills, we have no betting shop-based business upon which to depend if phone turnover falls, as the entire industry knows it will. Without the UK Government creating a level playing field by reducing betting duty, we are forced to sell the London business to our Gibraltar company."

The move to Gibraltar means that Chandler will avoid the need to collect UK betting duty entirely, as well as the Levy which is returned to racing. The "service charge" will include a voluntary levy, however, which is forecast to generate between pounds 400,000 and pounds 500,000 annually. This will be distributed via sponsorship, prize-money and, according to Carlton, "initiatives to help racing achieve sustained growth in the longer term".

Chandler and Ladbrokes have a long-established presence on Gibraltar, while Hills have a major operation in another tax-haven, the Isle of Man. A gentlemen's agreement with Customs & Excise, though, has ensured that these tax-free betting facilities have until now been available only to foreign clients.

The joint impact of Chandler's new venture and the Irish tax cut in July will put immense pressure on the Government to reduce betting tax for all British punters, perhaps to the five per cent soon to be available across the Irish Sea.

Failure to do so will inevitably see a steady fall in the revenue from betting duty as turnover drifts abroad, and the growth of reliable, low- tax or tax-free internet betting - which may again be led by Chandler - can only accelerate the decline.

The downside of yesterday's announcement is that the British betting ring will lose one of its most colourful figures. Victor Chandler's rails betting operation will continue, but the man himself will retire from the track to concentrate on his new commitments.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower