Gambling Laws

Gambling is one pastime in which there is a great deal of oversight. While this has been relatively easier to implement for land based gaming, online gaming has been a bit of a different story. For legal purposes, online gambling is known as remote gambling according to the Gambling Act of 2005. This form of gambling is accomplished by using forms of remote communications such the internet, telephones, radios and television. Any entity that provides facilities for remote gambling must obtain proper licensure. This is required if at least one piece of equipment is located within the UK. Failure to do so constitutes a breakage of the law.

Following the passage of the 2005 Gambling Act, online casino operators were able to bypass this by simply moving their operations to offshore locations. In fact, only one online casino operated site exists in the UK. Not only did this move the facilities away from UK but it also took away a potential tax base for the British government. Therefore, the act failed to regulate the activity and ended up resulting in lost tax revenue. As a result, further legislation was needed. In order to further define the legality of online casino gaming on the likes of, a bill was introduced into Parliament last May. The proposed Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill provides terms in which offshore operations must fulfil certain requirements.

If the proposed Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill is put into force, then any online casino operators that do business with or advertise to British citizens must option an official licence from the Gambling Commission. Along with this bill would be the enactment of a tax which has yet to be specified. However, it should provide the UK government with a potential boost in tax revenue collections. The government asserts that this is a secondary result of the bill with their primary objective being to protect citizens by regulating the online casino industry.

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