The Present Situation and the Future of Online Gambling in the United Kingdom

The Present Situation and the Future of Online Gambling in the United KingdomAt the moment under the 2005 Gambling Act, only online casino operators who hold a European Union gambling from certain countries along with holders of licences from Gibraltar, Malta, Antigua, Alderney and the Isle of Man among others are permitted to offer their services to British internet gamblers. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has “whitelisted”  eight jurisdictions and accepts licensed online casinos from these.
In order to be placed on this White List the jurisdictions had to fulfil the criteria demanded by the Gambling Commission including to keep gambling safe, fair and to protect the vulnerable. The following areas are on the White List: The United Kingdom, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malta, Alderney, The Isle of Man, Antigua and Tasmania. The White List was closed in 2009 as moves began to be made to ban internet casino advertising in Britain by any online operators not holding a United Kingdom Gambling Commission licence.
At the opening of the current session of the British Parliament the new Gambling Bill was listed. This proposed legislation could mean that the White List jurisdictions’ online casino licence holders would no longer be recognised in the United Kingdom. It proposes that all operators advertising in the country must hold a United Kingdom Gambling Commission licence. A major part of this legislation which has caused controversy among previously accepted licence holders is the plan to introduce a “point of consumption” tax to be placed on online casinos’ gross profits.
At the moment only United Kingdom licensed online casinos (such as William Hill Casino) pay this tax which is at 15 per cent. However, in the future if the legislation is passed, all online casinos would be subject to this tax since it would be placed on the player based in the United Kingdom no matter from where in the world the online casino is operating.There is major opposition to the proposed legal changes with both Malta and Gibraltar claiming that the new point of consumption tax is not about protecting online players but is rather an attempt to increase the British government’s tax income from internet casinos. It has been suggested that the proposals would contravene European laws. This has been denied by the government. The new legislation may be in place before October 2013.

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