This year’s Queen’s Speech – the outlining of the government’s policy agenda for the upcoming parliamentary session, delivered by the Queen – laid out some clear objectives regarding internet sportsbooks and online casinos in the UK.
Several changes affecting British gambling laws have been placed on the agenda, most importantly the requirement for foreign-based operators to hold a UK license. This applies not only to companies that accept British players, but also to the advertising of such services in the country.
Until now this obligation affected only the UK-based operators, while the regulation of foreign sites was left up to the original licensing jurisdiction, such as Malta, Gibraltar, the Netherland Antilles and other favored locations.
The goal of the forthcoming Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill is to make online gaming safer for domestic players, as well as facilitating the fight against illegal activity and corruption in sport.
In fact, the new regulations will mean that offshore operators offering online sportsbooks in the UK will also be under obligation to notify the UK Gambling Commission if they perceive suspicious betting patterns from British punters.
The protection of vulnerable social groups as well as assistance in the efforts to combat problem gambling is also among the goals voiced in the Queen’s Speech.
Even more importantly perhaps, the Bill will also allow UK-based operators to compete more successfully against the currently lesser regulated foreign rivals.