Will UK Begin Licensing Foreign Casinos?Published January 14, 2010 by OCR Editor
British government releases new proposal aimed to open up local Internet gambling market.
The United Kingdom could be set to begin licensing foreign-based online casinos, if a new proposal by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sports is enacted into law.
The proposal, which was released last week, came in response to claims from locally based online gambling companies that they face an uneven playing field.
Under the proposals, offshore online casinos would have to follow a series of rules to qualify for a license, including agreeing to share suspicious sports betting patterns, and to commit to protecting children and problem gamblers.
Some industry experts have challenged the government's motives. Among them is PricewaterhouseCooper's head of gaming, David Trunkfield, who said: "You don't have to be too cynical to think that this is also going to be a way of raising tax."
But others have backed the government's proposal, including Right2bet, an online group running a campaign in support of a free gambling market across the European Union.
In a press release Monday, the group backed the assessment of British sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe, who said that the Gambling Act is among the best regulatory frameworks in Europe, because it allows open competition between companies, therefore giving consumers the best possible value and choice.
For more on the UK gambling market and the Gambling Act, visit Online Casinos Reports UK.