EU Commission Ends British Online Gambling Bill Standstill Period

The European Commission has now ended the mandatory 'stand still' period on the British government changes to internet gambling laws, including an add-on occasioned by the complaints.

The UK government intention to impose a secondary licensing and point-of-consumption tax on internet and mobile gambling operators accessing the British gambling market, backed by restrictions on marketing and advertising, had provoked protests from online gambling licensing jurisdictions like Malta and Gibraltar.

The reason being that the Malta and Gibraltar business could be impacted by the new UK law, as well as the major Brit online gambling groups that re-located their online operations to the two jurisdictions some time ago due to high UK tax rates.

The end of the mandatory EC hiatus means that the UK can progress with a further parliamentary reading and preparations towards a target implementation date no later than December 2014.

However, the end of the stand still period does not mean that it prevents any part from continuing to object to or resist the UK government's plans enshrined in its Draft Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Bill.

Consequently, Gibraltar-based operators have already signaled they are ready to contest the issue in court on the basis of the EU law principles.

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