UK Online Gambling rules to be revised
The British government has stated that offshore gambling operators must inform them of suspicious betting practices if they are to apply for a license to exist within the UK market. Sport and Tourism minister, Hugh Robertson who is about to publish a gambling bill draft that aims to tighten online gambling procedures has said that foreign operators should be subject to the same stringent standards as British based operators. Due to the rapid growth of online gambling in the UK, the government is introducing a bill that keeps a tab on an industry that generated £2bn in 2011. According to government, the last piece of gambling legislation passed in 2005 “is not working as well as intended and has become unsustainable.” The law granted licenses to UK based gambling operators but left the window opened for operators in other approved territories to advertise to UK punters. As a consequence, the big gambling operators like Ladbrokes and William Hill left the UK for tax-havens leaving the UK with very little influence in the online gambling world. Mr Robertson added “These proposals will ensure that British consumers enjoy consistent standards of protection, regardless of where a gambling business is based, and will also help the fight against illegal activity and corruption in sports betting…” As online gambling is becoming more and more common in different European regions like Denmark, Italy and Spain, The UK has no option but to tighten their gambling laws to fall into line with the competition. What the bill will also introduce is license fees for overseas operators seeking a UK license. These fees will go towards education and treatment of problem gambling within the UK. Every operator based abroad will need a license granted in order for them to transact and advertise to British customers. At present there is no decided rate of tax but the Treasury will include this in the 2012/2013 Budget. With the bill still in draft stages, expect more details on this new addition to UK gambling regulations to be revealed in the coming weeks.
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