Gambling Reform in U.K. Focuses on Punter Protection

Published Friday, May 02, 2014 -
Gambling Reform in U.K. Focuses on Punter Protection

The online gambling industry in the United Kingdom is set to undergo major changes which some operators who dodged the tax bullet last time by moving to Gibraltar and other tax friendly jurisdictions now having to face the music.

The proposed changes in the way the U.K. government regulates the online gambling industry have been met with a fair amount of resistance from the operators who say the new tax regime will minimize profit and turn punters away. The government has been listening and the UK Minister for Sport, Tourism and Equalities, Helen Grant recently announced changes to the proposed plan. Grant has concerns over the proliferation of fixed odds betting terminals, insisting that more must be done to stem the large amounts of money being spent on the machines.

Grant commented, “I have therefore decided that Government should adopt a precautionary approach and take targeted and proportionate action to protect players further when using high stake gaming machines on the high street.” It has been proposed that customers placing bets of more than £50 use account-based play or load cash over the counter. Grant explained, “This is a sensible and balanced approach which allows players continued use of these machines on the high street, while ensuring greater opportunities for supervision and player protection,”

While the measures are not considered strong enough by some advocacy groups other pro gambling groups say the measures will be detrimental to the economy. The Association of British Bookmakers stated previously that the measures could have a negative impact and could lead to the closure of 7,800 betting shops and the loss of 39,000 jobs. CEO of the Association of British Bookmakers, Dirk Vennix commented, “Limiting access to one product just means the vast majority of responsible gamblers will be inconvenienced and problem gamblers will gamble on other products.”



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