UK Online Gambling Act Delayed Until November 1Published October 1, 2014 by Mike P
A High Court challenge from the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Commission has delayed the launch of UK online gambling legislation until November 1.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been forced to delay its impending alterations to online gambling legislation within the country, in the wake of a court challenge from Gibraltar. October 1 had been the initial date planned for implantation of the legislation, but the UKGC has elected to wait until November 1 while the challenge is resolved. The judges participating in the legal intervention require time to resolve the issue without time constraints.
New Tax Included in Legislation
The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Commission (GBGC) is accusing the UK of attempting to generate additional revenue by taxing gambling revenues, as opposed to acting in interests of consumer protection. Should that allegation be proven true, it will be in violation of EU trading laws. The new legislation will require operators accepting bets from UK consumers to pay 15% point-of-consumption tax and to hold a license with the GBGC.
Licensing Fees Due
Online gambling operators will also be subject to paying an initial cost of £19,500 along with an annual fee of £118,000. The GBGC has argued that the proposed legislation will make specialist gambling jurisdictions like Gibraltar less appealing for operators, who will no longer see the value of paying for specialist licensing as well as core UK licensing. Other jurisdictions that could be affected include Alderney and the Isle of Man.
GBGC Argues Against Legislation
A two-day hearing was held in the UK High Court, with the delay announced last Thursday. Central to the argument of the GBGC was that consumers would not ultimately benefit from the new legislation. The GBGC claimed that consumers would be made to cover the extra costs, and that they would subsequently seek out unlicensed operators, in turn nullifying the purpose of the legislation. UK advocates were given the opportunity to dispute the claims during the hearing’s second day.