Jenny Williams, the head of Britain’s Gambling Commission, commented on the new gambling licensing law and said that approximately 150 new applications for online gambling licenses are expected.
Williams discussed the upcoming implementation of the new UK gambling law and point-of-consumption tax regime during an international gambling conference in Barcelona last week.
She elaborated that the Gambling Commission is expecting around 150 applications from various online gambling operators and also added that a couple of applications have already been submitted.
The UK Gambling Commission’s head clarifies the new law at conference in Barcelona
• Unlicensed operators won’t be allowed to offer their products to UK online punters
• The Commission will have larger regulatory access to operators based outside of the UK
• There will be 15% point of consumption tax
Williams stressed on the fact that it was highly unlikely that the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association opposition against the law, would slow down the implementation process.
She touched upon the sensitive issue, because the GBGA, which represents numerous gambling companies that have based their online gambling businesses in the British Overseas Territory, such as 32Red and Victor Chandler, announced that it will take legal action against the UK government regarding the new “unlawful” licensing rule, together with the 15% tax on online bets.
The association insists that the new Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, which will oblige operators to obtain license from the UK Gambling Commission, even if they are already regulated in Gibraltar, is in serious breach with the European law and will affect negatively all British gamblers who enjoy online casinos in the UK, as“unscrupulous operators” would take advantage of them.
In addition to the new licensing requirement, all bets, which are placed online in the UK, will be subject to a 15% “point of consumption tax,” which is expected to raise with GBP 300 million a year the Treasury reserves.
Williams said firmly: “It’s full steam ahead. It wouldn’t be fair to those that have spent a lot of time getting ready to hold back now.” She added that some operators were active across various jurisdictions and it was crucial for the Commission to know whether these companies are “willfully disregarding somebody else’s regulations.”
Moreover: “It’s also about financial riskiness if companies have a lot of risk in grey markets we might be concerned.” She added that on the positive side:“the British system was open and consistent,” and the licensing fees were very realistic.
Commission’s head said furthermore: “there are lots of reasons why it makes sense to be licensed (in the UK),” stressing on the fact that unlicensed operators would not be allowed to offer their products to UK online punters.
Williams clarified that the Commission insisted on the point of consumption tax, as it will provide regulatory access of the Commission to massive operators, which are based outside of the UK, but still have access and accumulate huge revenues thanks to the British online and mobile players.
She said that the new secondary licensing framework will make the Commission’s oversight much more effective in regards to understanding the way operators function and how do they conduct their businesses.
Williams concluded: “the changes mean we will be infinitely better placed to assess risks and implement change.”