Friday, January 14, 2011

Government's Bookmaker Tote Plans to Avoid Tax by Moving Bets Offshore

The Tote, the government-owned bookmaker, is braced for a backlash over plans to move a portion of its business offshore and reduce its tax liabilities in the process. Despite being fully state-owned and operated since its foundation in 1928, the Tote yesterday admitted it plans to filter bets placed with third-party, offshore bookmakers through its Guernsey outpost in a move that would sidestep income tax.

The Tote operates through a pool betting system, where punters contribute to a central prize fund, and it allows customers of other bookmakers to bet into Tote markets. Negotiations are well advanced with a number of bookmakers to begin directing those wagers into central Tote pools via an offshore hub.'


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