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Gibraltar – Body blow for Gibraltar’s PoC challenge

By - 20 January 2017

The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) has suffered a blow in its challenge to the Point of Consumption (PoC) tax in the UK with one highly appointed official in the European Court of Justice suggesting Gibraltar and the UK should be treated as one Member State.

European Court of Justice Advocate General Maciej Szpunar said if Gibraltar and the UK were treated as a single Member State, the PoC challenge would be an internal affair and therefore it would not be relevant to bring Article 56 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) into play.
Introduced in 2014, PoC saw operators headquartered outside of the UK paying gaming tax for all online or mobile games played by UK customers.

Peter Howitt, Chief Executive of the GBGA, commented: “We are naturally disappointed with the opinion of the Advocate General. We continue to believe that the gambling duty applied by the UK government to operators out of the jurisdiction, in circumstances where the customer may not be in the UK when they gamble or even a UK resident, is a disproportionate restriction on operators. We look forward to receiving the CJEU’s judgement on the issues.”

GBGA believes PoC contravenes the freedom to provide services within the EU, one of the key principles concerning trade in the EU. The British government claimed however that GBGA had no EU rights in the matter as the freedom to provide service does apply to trade between Gibraltar and the UK.

The GBGA’s legal challenge will go before the European Court of Justice.

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