Filmmaker Says Use Online Gambling Tax for the Arts

Filmmaker Says Use Online Gambling Tax for the ArtsIn the UK the national lottery and gambling taxes support a variety of good causes. The funds are used to restore historical buildings, sports programs, several arts programs and even film productions. Recently a member of the House of Lords suggested that taxes on internet gambling be used to support the arts in the UK. In an article written for the Yorkshire Post Sir David Puttnam suggested that revenues from online gambling be diverted to funding the arts in the UK. In his article Puttnam wrote “I also think that we will need to find new ways to help support the arts. As many of you will be aware, there is enormous growth in the gambling industry, particularly online gambling, perhaps even, to some extent, displacing money spent on our National Lottery. ”

Lord Puttnam called the growth of the online gambling industry “worrying” and said the government could use the industry’s growth to its advantage. Puttnam wrote “We will need to find new ways to support the arts. Puttnam suggested that the new point of consumption tax should be used to supplement British investment in arts, sport and culture. In his article Puttnam wrote “I would like to think that the proceeds of a point of consumption tax on online gambling could, for example, be used to supplement the nation’s investment in arts, sport and culture. Many of the companies that operate in the online gaming space are based offshore, therefore making very little contribution to the overall, long-term prosperity of the country. ”

Currently the UK’s arts sector contributes £6 for every £1 of government subsidies. Unfortunately the Department of Culture, Media and Sport is facing a 30% funding cut and the revenues from online gambling could make up the difference. The online gaming industry in Britain has been booming. Online bingo has grown 155% since 2008 and all internet gambling sectors have displayed amazing growth. Puttnam said that his plan would have two benefits. British arts would benefit from online gambling and the growth of the industry would be curbed. Puttnam stated “Many of the companies that operate in the online gambling space are based offshore, therefore making very little contribution to the overall long term prosperity of the country.”

Puttnam is passionate in his support of the arts. Puttnam believes the arts are priceless and said “Important as their monetary contribution is the value of arts and culture can never be reduced to pounds, shillings and pence.  They are one of the cornerstones of any society that wishes to consider itself truly civilised – the one important means by which we are able to improve the quality of life for every single member of society – and in debating their economic value, it is very important that we never allow ourselves to forget that.” Hopefully Puttnam will get his way.

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