Online Gambling White List on Hold in U.K.

Published Thursday, July 30, 2009 -

The United Kingdom's Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced that it will not be adding any more operators to it's White List until early next year. Current participants in the U.K.'s White List have been informed of the action. The White List consists of those online gambling operators that are approved by the United Kingdom and are allowed to advertise their products and services in media residing in the U.K. The United Kingdom government wants to review the UK Gambling Act. at this time and therefore cannot accept any more applicants. A study being conducted by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport should be completed by the end of 2009 and then be tabled in Parliament by January 2010.

U.K.based bookmakers indicated that offshore operators on the White List enjoyed unfair advantages. This action by the U.K. operators has prompted the review process of the online gambling legislation in the U.K. One of the most open jurisdictions in the world. The operators in the U.K. want to create a level playing field so that there was equal competition in the online gambling industry. The problem is compounded by the fact that many members of the European Union are paying little respect to the European Commission directive to open up online gambling to fair competition from other E.U.nations.

Countries such as Italy and France are not allowing UK-based online gambling operators access to their markets creating friction amoung the countries involved.

The review will also assess the situation of problem gambling. The situation in the U.K. has been growing worse as online gambling operators based in the U.K. are voicing concerns that they cannot compete in the competitive market and are saying they will move to offshore locations where the taxation is less and the restrictions few. It is a profit driven indusrty and the bottom line rules.

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