New UK Online Gambling Bill Targets Offshore-based CompaniesPublished January 25, 2014 by OCR Editor
Offshore-based online gaming companies will have to pay the same taxes as UK-based companies if the new UK gambling bill is passed.
A new gambling bill has reached the committee stage of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, which means that it is one step closer to being passed. While the House of Lords traditionally examines every bill through a painstakingly detailed process, the UK government hopes the law will be implemented by the end of 2014.
The new legislation will require all gaming companies in the UK market to get a UK Gambling Commission license. As of now, only UK-based companies are required to have such a license. Practically, by requiring companies outside of the UK to acquire this license, the UK would enjoy a 15% increase of gross gaming revenue.
The new bill would also require all companies not located in the UK to inform the UK Gambling Commission if there is any suspicious behavior involving UK users.
The bill was first read at the House of Commons in May 2013, and was granted second and third readings in November. After its third reading on November 26, it was passed to the House of Lords, where it was read twice by mid-December. It was then moved to the committee stage, where it stands now.
What This Means for Online Gaming CompaniesCompanies such as William Hill, Ladbrokes and bwin.party, who have so far been enjoying the tax break benefits of offshore companies, will see such benefits disappear if the new bill is passed. On the other hand, UK-based companies that have been paying taxes, will not have to adapt to anything new, and therefore might experience an easier 2015.