Changes to UK Online Gambling Laws

Written by Gambling News on February 11, 2012. Posted in News

A proposal to change UK Online Gambling Laws has been made by Conservative MP Matthew Hancock. The MP wants to effect major changes to the Gambling Act 2005 and has therefore proposed to the House of Commons, his Offshore Gambling (Licensing) Bill.

Mr. Hancock would like to see that operators dealing with the British market apply for a license under the UK Gambling Commission and therefore pay tax on revenue. This bill is likely to raise attention from Members of Parliament, the media and the public in general.

The gambling bill wants to put a stop to offshore gambling companies’ offerings to British punters.  Those offshore operators are currently not paying any tax in the UK which this bill seeks to redress.

The new proposed taxation on the gambling bill would take into consideration the player’s location, rather than the operator’s. This new bill would prohibit any offshore company to operate and advertise in Britain, unless they are licensed in the country.

Those changes will concern all types of online gambling. But Hancock was also concerned about the decrease in horse racing income. He said that most of the top UK bookies have transferred their business overseas, which has caused hundreds of millions in tax loss.

The only UK gambling companies still operating in the UK mainland and paying UK tax are Bet365 and Coral and they have to cope with tough competition from offshore companies.

Mr. Hancock’s counterpart conservative MP Philip Davies, contested the logic behind the proposed gambling bill saying that too many policies in such a business could pressure players to move to unregulated operators.  This could then lead to bigger issues like consumer protection. Fine examples of where it went wrong are France, Italy and the United States. 

Mr. Davies is in favor of taxation and feels it would not hurt to request a small percentage from operators. A second reading for the Bill is due for the 30th of March 2012 where there should be more animated discussions.

We think that Mr. Hancock has read the situation correctly. If online gambling companies are taking bets from UK gamblers then there should be no reason why they should not be liable to pay UK tax.

This is currently the situation that other European countries are implementing. Why should the UK government miss out on this revenue and in all probability job creation because of the movement of gambling companies offshore to more favourable taxation regimes?. We are a big supporter of the proposed changes and hope to see them implemented in due course.

Written by for Online Keno – your best source for Online Gambling News.