The UK Gambling Commission has opened up its consultation process to members of the public as it draws up a new licensing procedure ready for the arrival of foreign based casinos in 2014. With new UK gambling laws on the way, the UK Gambling Commission has been drawing up draft licensing procedures to make sure there is a smooth transition.
With online casinos in the UK also due to pay a 15% point of consumption tax, there has been frenzied debate over what effects this will have on the industry. A recently published report by KPMG – commissioned by the Remote Gambling Association – has concluded that the tax rate should be less than 10%.
The two main issues at the heart of this consultation process surround the safety of gamers’ funds, and the handling of complaints and disputes. As well as accepting public submissions, the UKGC will be holding a number of consultations and workshops aimed at providing the industry with the best possible licensing process.
With the recent surge in mobile casinos and betting, as well as a spate of law changes throughout the EU, this is an exciting – but volatile – period for online gambling. With the UK market already well represented, operators are looking to new and innovative ways to attract customers. At the forefront of these innovations are major sportsbooks such as Paddy Power.
One of the key areas for growth has been identified as social betting, and with a number of companies looking towards this model, putting the right framework in place is essential.
Currently only 15% of the UK online gambling market is regulated by the UKGC – with the rest based overseas in places such as Gibraltar and the Isle of Man – so the added burden placed on the regulatory body from next year will need to be carefully managed.