United Kingdom’s government plans to introduce changes to British gambling laws, making licensing by the UK Gambling Commission compulsory for gaming operators based abroad. During the last years, many major British gambling companies relocated their online divisions offshore to acquire a competitive advantage by not paying the UK taxes.
Once the new requirements are implemented, current “white listing” system will be abolished and operators located in the European Economic Area will no longer be able to access the UK market without a British gaming licenses.
John Penrose, the heritage minister, responsible for gambling, told online gambling news in United Kingdom: “We are intending to move as fast as we can towards a system which will fix the problem of offshore betting. We plan to move to a system which will switch away from the current organization which has driven many bookmakers offshore.”
He went on to comment: “It means anybody based anywhere in the world who wants to sell gambling services to any consumer based in the UK will, in future, have to have a Gambling Commission license.”
Matthew Hancock, a Conservative MP, previously stated that online sportsbooks in United Kingdom should be run from Britain: “We need a level playing field by ensuring all gambling in the UK pays UK tax and UK levy. The problem is in part because those who make a profit from the sport through the gambling on it have gone offshore to escape contributing to the sport on which they rely.”
Penrose agreed with Hancock’s views and commented: “The levy as it currently stands is broken. It does not work and people on all sides – whether in the gambling industry or in racing – are pretty united in their criticism of it.”