The government of the United Kingdom decided a long time ago to regulate and license online gambling. The bold move has proven profitable for some operators as well as the government in the taxes and fees they have extracted over the years. Now however the game is about to change and become a little more slanted towards the win the government gets.
A bill introduced in the parliament requires all offshore online gambling operators with customers in the U.K.to hold licences and pay taxes. The UK Gaming (Licensing and Advertising) Bill passed the third reading in the House of Commons with no opposition from any political parties. Clearly this is a small issue considering that Scotland is on the verge of separating from the United Kingdom.
Helen Grant, the U.K’s Culture Minister, commented, “The Bill is a prudential measure which will provide greater protection for consumers based in Great Britain,” she said. “It will tighten current legislation to ensure that all remote gambling, whether provided in Britain or overseas, is a licensed activity subject to the Gambling Commission’s standard and controls.”
As the legislation proceeds to the House of Lords it is very likely the bill will be passed and become law. The law is expected to come into effect by the spring of 2014. .
The Minister also said she thinks this legislation will be a benefit to gambling customers in the UK due to a strict new set of guidelines and licensing requirements for online gambling firms from offshore.
The point of consumption tax on Gross Gaming Revenues in the UK is currently at fifteen per cent which even offshore firms from territories such as Gibraltar will be obliged to pay. The bill is intended to create a more level playing field for the industry operators located in the U.K. and paying licensing fees and taxes. Other operators are crying foul saying it will make them unprofitable.