Ladbrokes Completes Offshore Move4th November 2009 8:32 am GMT
Ladbrokes has said that it will complete the relocation of its online sportsbook operations to Gibraltar this week, nearly two months ahead of schedule, helping it to improve its sportsbook's competitiveness and operating margins.
In August of this year Ladbrokes said that it would move its sportsbook to the offshore territory by the end of the year, following intense competitive pressures from offshore gaming operators.
By operating its sportsbook from the UK since 2001, Ladbrokes has been subject to 15% gross profits tax and VAT on input costs, currently 15%, as well as paying the Horserace Betting Levy at 10% of profits on British horseracing.
In contrast, offshore bookmakers pay very low profit taxes of 1 or 2% and are not subject to the Horserace Betting Levy.
The company said that the relocation would save significant sums in tax and allow Ladbrokes to be better enabled to compete against rivals who have been operating from offshore locations for many years.
Ladbrokes will continue to pay corporation tax on profits from the Ladbrokes.com sportsbook, which saw revenues fall 5% to £30.5 million for the first half of 2009. The sportsbook has over 500,000 active customers.
Commenting on the move Christopher Bell, Chief Executive of Ladbrokes plc said: "Competing from the UK against offshore operators with significant tax advantages was unsustainable and we are very pleased that, having made the decision to relocate, we are doing so ahead of schedule.
"We have used the opportunity to invest in improved technology and in the weeks ahead we will be launching our very latest sportsbook that further improves our competitive position".
Ladbrokes new website offers improved navigation, rapid access to a wider range of sports betting opportunities as well as enhanced live video streaming and personalisation features. Ladbrokes is also planning a range of promotional offers including enhanced pricing and improved customer recruitment offers following the relocation to Gibraltar.