UKGC Takes Issue with Government FeesPublished September 11, 2015 by Lee R
This is a chance for the public, operators, and trade associations to contribute to effective policy.
In what amounts to an assertion of its own autonomy and sincerity, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will advise its own government against undesirable aspects of current iGaming policy.
The UKGC will recommend to the UK government a reduction in licensing fees and operational costs.
The UK government originally opened the floor to suggestions in promising to consider adaptive changes to regulation once remote gambling had been fully implemented.
The first full year of data for the regulated gambling market will be before the end of the year: the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 is expected to provide valuable baseline data on the extent to which the new tax regime that kicked in in late 2014 has helped popular online casinos in the UK such as Trada, Guts, and Mr. Green.
The UKGC is committed to increasing transparency in the process for determining the fees needed for recovery of government expenses. The implication is that the UK government and all iGaming regulating governments would do better to focus on increasing revenues via taxable provider income as opposed to up-front licensing fees. The more equitable the entry fees, the more private operators will join, and the more taxable revenue will be available.
With online regulation just coming to reality the last thing any government wants to do is scare off competitors by being perceived as trying to make money on licensing fees. By the same token, the public and private operators need to be aware that there is no small amount of costs required for any government to set up a regulatory structure--costs which need to be recovered promptly.
Indeed, iGaming regulation is an investment for governments as well as private operators. The more the two can work together to bring an attractive product to the public at an affordable price, the more both stand to gain financially, and the lower the financial risk for each. The UKGC will be holding a workshop with prominent trade associations on September 24.