Spain’s governing Social Workers’ Party has done an about face on how it plans to tax online gambling operators under its new regulatory scheme. The draft law, which was given the okay by cabinet on Friday, will apply a tax based on gross profits. While the specific rate of taxation has not been announced, it is hoped the number will be a little more English and a little less French. At the very least, it won’t be the turnover taxation model that Spain had initially proposed and which sparked such condemnation from gaming operators and industry associations. The bill now passes to Spain’s full parliament, then the Senate, then off to Brussels for the three months the European Commission requires to invert all the upside down punctuation. ¡Best! ¡Bill! ¿Ever?
In the UK, the coalition government is taking heat over its inability to deliver on any of its ‘big society’ promises, at least, not in a timely fashion. While most of the public’s focus is on the lack of progress on welfare reform and children’s education, what caught our eye is the delay in ‘plans to release unclaimed winnings from dormant betting accounts.’ The plan, spearheaded by Liberal Democrat Don Foster, would see government ‘release’ (you know, like ‘set free’) the money in these accounts and use it to fund children’s sports projects.
Foster has turned in a report to betting minister John Penrose, who has yet to act on any of the report’s contents. Allegedly, there’s been some resistance from bookmakers who may not fancy the gov’t snooping through its books looking for dead, er, ‘dormant’ people. Seriously, with the UK’s financial cupboard looking like Old Mother Hubbard’s, there might be extra pressure for civil servants to declare an account dormant. Imagine the ‘bring out your dead’ scene in Monty Python & The Holy Grail thus:
“I’m not quite dormant.”
“Shut up, you’ll be stone cold dormant in a moment.”
“I think I’ll have a flutter.”
“You’re not fooling anyone, you know.”