Latest Gambling News from the UK

By Maria McCoyGoogle

With the upcoming UK Treasury survey of England’s £1.7 billion online gambling industry, specialists predict that the prospect of new licensing measures for allowing offshore operators access to Britain’s local market could arise.

Last week, British Conservative Party politician Matthew Hancock caused much controversy when he brought what many are calling ‘a radical proposal’ before parliament.  The proposal aims to redefine the legal location of the online game from the location of the operator to the location of the consumer.  The precedent for the change is a recent ruling in South Africa’s North Gauteng High Court where Judge Jonathan Heher ruled that the legal location of where the gambling takes place is the location of the player.  Hancock tried to insert his proposal to the yearly finance bill, however many believe there is no real legal justification for inserting individual specific regulatory measures to the Great Britain’s yearly finance bill.

Another proposal, one less radical and less controversial, was a call to seal the loopholes currently available to offshore online casinos regarding taxes.  The majority of Britain’s biggest online operators do not pay taxes to the British government.  Both the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport have been involved in clearing up the issue.  Hancock recently told reporters that since this measure has support across party lines, it’s only a matter of time before it gets passed.

The group expected to suffer the most from the new measure is William Hill, a massively successful offshore operator who currently holds on to about 10% of England’s entire online gambling market.  They commissioned a third party review from Deloittes who claimed that increased taxation would lead to a massive increase in the use of unauthorized and unregulated online casinos.

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