UK ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO LICENSING SYSTEM


sweeping changes to Britain's remote gambling laws that will force companies accessing the UK iGaming market to apply for a UK licence


JULY SAW THE UK minister responsible for gambling. John Penrose, announce sweeping changes to Britain's remote gambling laws that will force companies accessing the UK iGaming market to apply for a UK licence.
In announcing the reforms, Mr Penrose stated. "All overseas operators will be subject to the same standards and requirements as those based in Britain, as well as being required to inform the Gambling Commission about suspicious betting patterns to help fight illegal activity and corruption in betting."

The DCMS has endorsed the changes by encouraging that they will bring about "Better protection for British consumers using overseas operators" by manoeuvring the regulation to the point of sale instead of the point of supply.

The reforms will do away with the current system which allows operators licensed in the European Economic Area (EEA) and jurisdictions whose systems are recognised (white listed) by the DCMS to access the UK market, and reflects the routes trodden by recently opened remote gaming regimes in France and Italy where operators must apply for a domestic license regardless of any other license they may hold with 'offshore' jurisdictions.

Reaction to the news was swift, with both Alderney and the Isle of Man releasing statements with relation to the potential impact on their licensees. Andre Wilsenach, Executive Director of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission was first to respond, saying that developments in the UK spelled "good news for Alderney as we are committed to the highest standards of regulation and enforcement, and to the greatest level of cooperation with other regulators."

Alan Bell, Minister for the Department of Economic Development on the Isle of Man, added, "In my recent conversation with Minister Penrose, I received assurances that the UK Gambling Commission has
no wish to duplicate the work that our Gambling Commission does in regulating our operators. It has been clear from my representations on behalf of Isle of Man operators to Minister Penrose that these provisions are a direct recognition of the confidence the UK has in our high standards of regulation and consumer protection."

Clive Hawkswood, CEO of the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) also added to the swell of reaction post-announcement. "The main players in the UK online gambling market are predominantly based offshore, but they already adhere to high regulatory standards which are comparable to those in Britain. Regulation by the Gambling Commission therefore holds no fears for our members, but a significantly higher tax burden that could lead to a reduction in value and choice for consumers certainly does. It is therefore clearly crucial that any new regulatory regime is complemented by a fair and sustainable fiscal regime."
 
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