- March 18th, 2014
Recently, the Hippodrome Casino opened up in Leicester Square, with many hoping that it will be a roaring success. A different scandal is now rocking the Europe casino news scene however, as co founder and tycoon Jimmy Thomas has not been shy about complaining about current government tax policies with regards to a recent VAT bill.
However, it is not about the tax on building materials to create his casino, nor about the cost of getting a casino license, nor even about the tax he faces on his revenue that he is complaining about. No – Thomas is upset because he made a charity donation of more than two million pounds for much needed refurbishments to the ovarian cancer ward at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. The amount of tax he was asked to pay on this amount? A shocking £460,000 – and despite his reported friendship with and support of Conserative Prime Minister David Cameron, he has been rather vocal about the upset it has caused him and how eager he is to get it resolved. As he puts it, “He has taken £500,000 from me that should be going to a woman with ovarian cancer”.
This is an issue that seems to be haunting some lately, as they seem to exist in a black hole of legislation – people tend to see them as a negative influence in any community, and the charity work that they do is often overlooked. This follows a couple of huge surprise donations made in the Las Vegas area by casino mogul Steve Wynn recently to some poor and needy families, which were anonymous until press diggings unearthed their source. Many feel that this kind of donation should not see any further tax, while others see it as a perfect way for casinos to siphon off untaxed income in unscrupulous ways.
Thomas went on a long rant about the situation, saying to reporters, “The Treasury Minister says, ‘Oh, well, then I’ll have to do it for schools and everything else.’ I tell him: ‘Don’t you understand it? This is charity money being given to a hospital, not people spending money educating their children which they don’t have to spend.’
“You don’t have to send your kids to Eton – it’s your choice – you could send them to a damn good grammar school. This is charity money and you’ve already paid tax on it once before you give it to the VAT man.”