New Online Gambling Law 2012
All the newest information available on changes to on line betting UK is in this article: the situation here now and what the proposed changes are, how far talks in the House of Commons have gone up to this point, and, most importantly, how the changes would affect you as a UK online bettor or poker player if they were effected.
1/ How will new online gaming legislation affect me?
2/ What is the online betting UK situation right now?
3/ What new online gambling laws might be put in place?
4/ Does the UK government want to change online gaming legislation?
How will new online gaming legislation affect me?
As an internet bettor, poker player or gambler, these new changes could potentially have no effect on your experience at all. However, if you have an account with a foreign operator it could be closed down or suspended– don’t worry, any money you held in it at the time would still be accessible and the operator would contact you with details on how to withdraw it.
It’s almost impossible to say what the knock-on effect of any changes would be, but there is always a risk that any financial loss for the operators will be passed down to its customers, meaning new costs for you– a monthly subscription charge, worse odds or fewer freebies.
What is the on line betting UK situation right now?
Since 2005 the UK has had one of the most open online gambling markets in the world. This is because foreign-based gambling companies can get a licence to offer their services in the UK freely, as long as they meet legal requirements. As a result many UK gambling companies have chosen to locate themselves abroad in order to avoid the 15% tax that is currently in place for operators in the UK. They are also less closely watched by the Gambling Commission.
What new online gambling laws might be put in place?
The UK might follow most of the rest of Europe by inhibiting foreign companies from trading in the UK, or by making it harder to get an operating licence for foreign companies. This would mean that many companies located abroad to evade tax would have to locate themselves in the UK. You’d be surprised how many “UK bookmakers” are based in Gibraltar: Ladbrokes, William Hill and Betfred to name but a few.
At the moment the government is comparing the current laws here to those of other European countries, and regarding specific elements of the legislation. However, it’s far from putting forward a bill just yet.
Does the UK government want to change online gaming legislation?
Yes, it seems to want to. There are several reasons why the government would be keen to make changes:
To make the competition fairer
It’s much more profitable for non-UK gambling companies than for UK-based companies to trade in the UK, due to tax havens such as Gibraltar. The government would like to make it a bit fairer for the companies who have chosen to remain in the UK and pay taxes.
Many other European countries, such as France and Austria, do not allow foreign operators to trade in order to safeguard their national licensed bookmakers. Although the UK would not have a full ban on foreign operators, a reduction of outside competitors would improve the health of UK companies.
To increase tax revenue from gambling companies
The gambling industry is huge and therefore has huge tax revenue potential. If foreign-based operators came back to the UK the tax revenue would better reflect the popularity of gambling here.
To better regulate companies and control underage gambling
At the moment fraud, underage and problem gambling are all big problems in the UK. The potential changes would help to better supervise the online operators, to check they are targeting these problems and to penalise them if they’re not complying with the relevant requirements.