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Casino operators and gambling firms face government levy

The bookmakers, casino operators and other gambling firms of the UK are this evening under threat from the UK government with proposals for a gambling levy to fund research into gambling addiction. The government has already increased the various gambling taxes over the last couple of years and many are surprised they have returned again to an industry which has been suffering. Many believe that the gambling levy is nothing more than a stealth tax and while some of the money raised will go towards funding research into gambling addiction, there are suspicions that not all of the money will find its way to the cause.

This opens a potential "can of worms" for the UK government in that if gambling operators are to pay for research into gambling addiction, where does this leave the drinks industry and potential research into drink addiction, etc, etc. While the move to further tax the gambling companies will go down very well in certain quarters there are many who believe it will not see the light of day.

The move also calls into question the government's apparent opening up of the gambling markets in the UK which has been dogged by the auction of casino licences only for the process to be cancelled at the final stage. As ever it will be consumers who bear the brunt of any increase in gambling industry cost.

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