The UK Government today announced its intention to introduce new legislation that would call for all remote gambling operators with British customers to obtain British licences, irrespective of where those companies are based.
Clive Hawkswood, the RGA’s Chief Executive commented that: ‘Now that the Government has confirmed its intentions, we intend to play a constructive part in the process to ensure that the new regulatory and tax regime will provide an environment where Government objectives can be achieved; where the industry can succeed commercially in the global online gambling market; and where the interests of consumers continue to be properly safeguarded.’
Under the Gambling Act 2005, remote gambling operators based in EEA jurisdictions and those licensed in jurisdictions on the Government’s ‘White List’, which have already been identified as having acceptable regulatory standards, are permitted to advertise in Britain. Companies with a significant interest in the British market are located in such jurisdictions and the new proposals require them to also hold a British licence in addition to the other licences under which they already operate.
Hawkswood added, ‘The main players in the UK online gambling market are predominantly based offshore, but they already adhere to high regulatory standards which are comparable to those in Britain. Regulation by the Gambling Commission therefore holds no fears for our members, but a significantly higher tax burden that could lead to a reduction in value and choice for consumers certainly does. It is therefore clearly crucial that any new regulatory regime is complemented by a fair and sustainable fiscal regime. We look forward to working with DCMS, HM Treasury, and the Gambling Commission to ensure that all of these issues can be successfully addressed.’