World Cup To Stimulate Internet Betting Boom

Economists are predicting an Internet betting boom fuelled by the World Cup. This follows a massive increase in betting turnover of nearly 70% since the abolition of deductions on punters'' stakes last October. Betting turnover, according to the latest figures, now stands at an astonishing £1.3 billion a month.

In a report to be published in the June 2002 issue of the Economic Journal, Dr David Paton and Professor Donald Siegel of Nottingham University Business School and Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams, Director of the Betting Research Unit at the Nottingham Trent University, argue that the recent abolition of deductions on punters'' bets, together with developments in Internet betting technology, foreshadow a Golden Age of betting and gambling in the UK.

The authors write that: ''The UK government has explicitly decided to base its betting taxation policy on economic criteria, such as reducing inefficiency and maintaining competitiveness.''

Professor Vaughan Williams commented: ''Since the abolition of “tax” on punters'' stakes last year, betting turnover has increased sharply across the whole of the betting industry, up nearly 70% to a massive £1.3 billion a month. Turnover is likely to rocket again because of the World Cup. The extra publicity generated for Internet betting on the World Cup, combined with zero taxes for punters, can only accelerate the pace of change in an already booming sector of the economy.''

Dr Paton added: ''The UK is set to establish itself as the key player on the international stage for betting on sports events. We already see clear evidence of this happening, and we predict that betting turnover will continue to rocket, particularly on the Internet.''

Professor Siegel said: ''There are still a number of challenges ahead, most notably for other gambling sectors such as the Lottery and casinos. But our evidence suggests that even these sectors have benefited from the reduction in betting tax. It is clear that the Government''s recent tax changes have laid the foundations for the long-term viability and competitiveness of the UK gambling industry.''

''A Policy Response to the E-Commerce Revolution: The Case of Betting Taxation in the UK'' by David Paton, Donald Siegel and Leighton Vaughan Williams will be published in the June 2002 issue of the Economic Journal. Dr David Paton is Senior Lecturer in Industrial Economics at the Nottingham University Business School. Professor Donald Siegel is Professor of Industrial Economics at the Nottingham University Business School. Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams is Professor of Economics and Finance, and Director of the Betting Research Unit, at the Nottingham Trent University.