Fighting Over UK Online Gambling Regulation

By Debra SaundersGoogle

The goal of the UK special parliamentary committee on gambling set up by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport is to provide an outline for regulation guidelines and principles regarding online casino gambling.  The regulators from the British overseas territories of Gibraltar and Alderney deposed before the committee.  These territories are particularly sensitive about the new proposals for secondary licensing that could seriously effect the operators in these territories.  As of now, the operators in these territories enjoy a most advantageous situation.  On the one hand, they are allowed to operate in England, and on the other hand, they don’t have to pay English taxes.

Alderney Gaming Control Authority regulator Andre Wilsenach supported tighter regulations.  This comes as a direct result of the recent indictment of Alderney licensee Full Tilt Poker, a top online casino.  Wilsenach clearly wants to avoid such unpleasantries in the future.  His focus was on monitoring the locations in which the licensees operate, the nuances of the jurisdictions, their financial transaction arrangements, and any other risk factors.  The higher the licensee’s risk, the more oversight required on part of the control authority that provides the licensing. 

Gibraltar Gambling Commission regulator Philip Brear said that he has been disappointed by the lack of cooperation between the British regulatory authorities and their Gibraltarian counterparts.  He mentioned that the UK Gambling Commission has significantly less experience than the Gibraltar Gambling Commission.  He concluded that the regulations legislated in 2005 under the Gambling Act would suffice and saw no need to add more.

Recent statistics show that the majority of British players prefer the overseas websites to the online casino sites based in British Isles.  Online casino reviews predict that this statistic alone could possibly be enough to tilt the scales on the secondary taxation issue. 

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