New Licensing Requirements For Online Gambling Sites Announced in the UK

Online gambling and especially online bingo are big business in the UK. It has been estimated that more than three million people play online bingo regularly in the UK. In addition there are millions more that patronize online casinos, poker sites and bookmakers. According to the British Gambling Prevalence Survey taken in 2010 about three quarters of all adults over the age of 16 had participated in some form of gambling.  The survey showed that 36 million adults in the UK had placed some sort of wager during the previous year.

Buying lottery tickets and Scratchcards were the most popular forms of betting in the UK. Other popular forms of gambling include horse racing, slot machines, sports betting, bingo, poker, casino games, and football pools. Gambling is a big business in the UK and generates about £100 billion pounds ($163,073,117,708.68 USD) annually. Until now offshore gambling operations were not subject to taxation by the British government but all that may change in the near future if several government officials and politicians have their way.

Currently gaming operators licensed and located in the UK pay a 15% gross profits tax and corporate taxes as well.  Many gambling and bingo sites have located offshore to escape the heavy tax bite in the UK. Politicians want to tax online gambling at the point of supply and at the point of consumption. While offshore gaming operators argue that they should not be subject to UK taxes UK based gambling sites argue that they are at a competitive disadvantage. Recently the Minister for Tourism and Heritage, John Penrose, announced that any gambling site taking wagers from players in the UK will have to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission.

Many industry experts believe that in time the licensing requirements will turn into a tax grab on the part of the British government. Most believe that the move will evolve into a new taxation policy for offshore gaming operators. In a statement to the House of Commons Justine Greening, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury said that the government intends to require all gaming firma accepting bets from UK customers to hold a UK gaming license. The move was not totally unexpected. Earlier in the year an ‘unnamed government source’ had indicated that Penrose was considering the licensing move.

The question remains; will offshore gaming operators fully cooperate with the new requirements? Banning gambling websites has not worked out well for the US and chances are it won’t work any better for the UK.

Online Bingo Reviews

Subscribe for Newsletter

We respect your email privacy
Read our privacy policy
Protected by Copyscape Original Content Checker
Visit Us On Twitter