UK Parliament Approves New Regulatory Framework for Remote Gambling in Great Britain
Gambling operators abroad providing remote betting services in Great Britain will need to procure an operating license first.
If introduced, the new law will bring numerous foreign-based operators within the extent of direct regulation by the Commission by changing the licensing administration to one anchored in where the wagers and bets are placed (the point of consumption of POC), rather than where the operator is based (the point of supply). The last minute amendment to the bill, which was finalized in the UK parliament last month, will observe serving consumers in Great Britain to pay a tariff on gross profits taken on horse racing bets. At present, horse racing betting levy applies only to betting operators headquartered in Great Britain.
However, law amendments may be delayed. According to previous media reports, the Gilbraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) could consider bringing up a judicial review challenge versus some of the proposed reforms. A few gambling operators that offer remote betting services to consumers located in Great Britain have their businesses situated in Gibraltar.
The Gambling Commission has independently published a few modifications to the License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) that gambling operators subject to gambling laws in Great Britain should heed. The policies will need to be followed by remote gambling operators bound to the new POC regulatory system outlined in the Gambling Bill.
The Commission also detailed a requirement on gambling operators to notify them where the “key equipment” is located. They also stated that it will be a state of license that the companies seek authorization from it to relocate their key equipment to another jurisdiction. The Commission is expected to release changes to the LCCP before the end of April, and has previously presented a consultation on the LCCP changes in September 2013.
The UK government also decided to implement a new tax system separately from the new Bill and LCCP changes. The new system will be for remote gambling which will follow a POC approach. The duty to pay taxes would apply where there are preparations between a gambling operator and a “UK person” for the person to partake in remote gambling, depending on some limited exemptions.
According to the draft legislation, a “UK person” is either "an individual who usually lives in the United Kingdom, or a body corporate which is legally constituted in the United Kingdom." The proposition set the tone for the Treasury to revise the definition and to give guidance on the steps to be followed to prove whether an individual is a “UK person” for the principles of the framework.
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