Prime Ministerial Candidate Matt Hancock to Enforce £100 Million UK Betting Tax

Prospective prime minister Matthew Hancock has set his sights on the UK betting industry with a new £100 million tax initiative.

Matt Hancock UK betting tax

MP Matthew Hancock has pledged to raise £100 million to fight gambling addiction by taxing UK betting companies more money. (Image: Sky News)

With Theresa May stepping down, Conservative Party candidates are currently throwing their hats into the ring. Laying out their plans for change, the would-be prime ministers are all playing their opening hands.

For Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Hancock, responsible gambling is high on his agenda.

Inside Track Prompts UK Betting Tax Proposal

Should he make it to the top position inside Downing Street, the 100/1 outsider wants to impose a mandatory 1 percent levy on bookmakers.

At present, British betting operators make voluntarily contributions to gambling charities. In his opinion, the system isn’t fit for purpose.

The betting industry has not taken this issue seriously enough and has failed to take enough responsibility for addressing the harm gambling causes,” Hancock told The Sun newspaper.

Ironically, Hancock is the MP for one of the world’s leading hors racing regions, Newmarket. However, he believes that this proximity to the industry has allowed him to see the problems within it.

If elected, he’ll use his position to enforce the new tax on bookmakers. The aim is to raise £100 million and bolster the efforts of problem gambling clinics introduced by Theresa May in January 2019.

Outsider Would Have Cross-Party Support

Although Hancock is an outsider, his plan would likely receive cross-party support. Commenting on the UK betting and gaming industry in 2018, Labour’s Tom Watson said a mandatory tax was necessary.

Watson’s push for reform is one that initially started with the links between UK betting and football. In 2017, called on the government to sever ties between the two in order to cure a “hidden epidemic.”

While Hancock’s proposal will secure him votes with anti-betting advocates, his chances of winning the leadership election are slim. According to the latest odds, he’s well outside the top five candidates.

Leading the way is Boris Johnson at 1/2 with most bookmakers. Second in the running is Jeremy Hunt at 4/1 while Andrea Leadsom is third favourite at 7/1.

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