United Kingdom Faces Responses Regarding New Gambling Measures

19 April 2012 – By Cristian Dragomir

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The new measures regarding online gambling proposed by the United Kingdom government have made some waves in the internet gaming world. United Kingdom has made a plan to tax online gambling operators that operate on the local market, but are not located in Britain. Therefore, according to a report in the Gibraltar Chronicle, the government of the reputed and popular online casinos jurisdiction of Gibraltar is angry with UK’s intention to impose a point of consumption tax on online gambling operators. This state of irritation is due to the fact that a large number of operators servicing the online gambling market in Britain are licensed and regulated in Gibraltar. The implementation of this measure would severely and adversely affect Gibraltar’s economy, as online casino operators provide a regular revenue source and direct or indirect employment to over 5,000 Gibraltar citizens.

Gibraltar’s Gaming Minister said that his jurisdiction has a licensing and regulation regime at least as good, if not better, than in the UK, thereby ensuring UK customers of receiving fair and safe gaming. Also, Gaming Minister said that the government, along with leading Gibraltar licensed online gambling operators, is taking steps in order to protect the reputed online casino industry of Gibraltar.

Northern Ireland, on the other hand, is concerned over the perceived adverse impact of the growth in online gambling. The Social Development Committee, through their chairman, politician Alex Maskey, is asking the British Prime Minister David Cameron and his government to update the gambling laws. Maskey and his colleagues want to put pressure on the government to modify online casino laws so they can adequately address the fallout from online gambling. The Social Development Committee claims that the incidence of problem gambling is increasing, as punters have easy access to online gambling, and those drawn into it need protection. Also, the government has to deal with the fact that land based bookmakers in Northern Ireland are facing competition from online betting sites and because of that they are asking for relaxations, including for example the possibility to operate on Sundays. The Committee intends to use whatever resources and connections it can garner to prod the concerned government department into action.

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