Regulatory Changes Coming in the UK

In the UK there have been calls for more regulation of online gambling and recently the government finally responded. It has been announced that all online gambling sites accepting wagers in the United Kingdom will be required to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission. In the very near future offshore gaming sites will also be subject UK taxation. Last year many online gamblers called for the UK government to step in after several gamblers were cheated by less than honest gaming operators. In 2010 one online poker site was ordered to pay players millions in compensation after a scandal. In the past there have been many cases of unscrupulous gaming sites taking wagers with no intention of paying. The scandals and loss of potential tax revenues have promoted the UK government implement new gambling laws.

In the UK offshore bingo sites are not subject to much real regulation. To advertise their services in the UK bingo sites must be on a ‘white list’ maintained by the UK Gambling Commission. Fortunately internet bingo has been relatively scandal free. Until recently online bingo sites escaped the attention of US authorities but that has changed. Many offshore gaming operators and bingo sites are seeking UK gaming licenses and are withdrawing from the US market for their own protection. Many in the industry see this as a long term tactic. Should online gambling once again become legal in the UK operators with a UK gaming license will be in a perfect position to apply for US gaming licenses and will have a history with a respected regulatory body. Many gaming operators have switched to .uk and .eu domain names. Poker giant Bodog is the latest to make the move to a .eu domain. This will allow the company to continue its expansion into emerging markets in Asia and Latin America.

Ti should be noted that most bingo sites on the UK’s white list go to great lengths to maintain their white list status. Most white list licensing jurisdictions are located in Europe and are subject to strict European Union regulations. The regulatory atmosphere in the UK is rapidly changing and most experts expect some sort of taxation requirement by the end of this year. Most expect the changes to benefit both players and bingo and gaming operators.

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