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G.B.G.A GIVEN THE GREEN LIGHT FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW
11th December, 2014 at 10:07:34
Further challenges planned against the UK government's point-of-consumption secondary licensing and taxation laws regarding online gambling.
The High Court in London has given the green light for the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association to proceed with a further judicial review against the UK government's point-of-consumption tax legislation on internet gambling operators.
readers will recall that earlier this year Mr Justice Green ruled against the trade association when it challenged the UK Gambling (Advertising and Licensing) Act, claiming that the legislation is discriminatory and contrary to Article 56 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, and restricts the movement of free trade within the EU.
However, Justice Green observed in his judgment that a restriction designed to raise tax would be an economic objective and, as such, would fail the EU test of justification.
The GBGA has taken that advice seriously and now challenges the Act on the basis of tax, in a judicial review action that will not be heard until next year. In the meantime the Association has its work cut out in preparing its case and lobbying the issue with relevant authorities.
This week GBGA CEO Peter Howitt said that the Association felt that it had a sound case, but he warned:
I think we have a good case to make but I'm always hesitant to say we are confident in litigation, especially when you are challenging a sovereign state on an area of taxation. The litigation has a lot of elements that make success politically difficult but the Association believes there are some key issues that need to be addressed."
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