Moves by UK Government on offshore internet gambling firms

Consultation launched on new licence requirements

The UK position of offshore online gambling operators wishing to advertise and promote their products to British players moved into the spotlight this week with the news that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has launched a consultation on the introduction of new licence requirements for overseas online gambling firms.

The moves follows protests from UK betting and racing companies and authorities that offshore companies accessing the UK market do so at the competitive disadvantage of locally licensed companies due to their low tax position in jurisdictions like Gibraltar, Malta and the Isle of Man.

The appeal of low tax and better competitiveness has seen William Hill and Ladbrokes recently join other major UK betting firms in moving their online gambling divisions offshore.

The consultation relates to an announcement made by Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe in January 2010 (see previous InfoPowa reports) which noted the situation and advised that a process would be launched to look at secondary licensing possibilities for those companies wishing to continue doing business with UK punters..

The plans, which are subject to a 12 week consultation period, would mean that online operators currently licensed outside Britain will have to apply for a licence from the Gambling Commission if they want to advertise or provide their gambling services to British consumers.

Closing date for responses to the consultation is Friday 18 June 2010

Further details including the consultation papers can be viewed at: http://www.culture.gov.uk/referenc...ns/6743.aspx

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