Deciphering the New UK Gambling Act
New regulations in the UK gambling act have been introduced with effect from the 01st December and they will have far reaching implications for all sections of the betting fraternity. Some outlets have even stopped accepting accounts from British based customers but what has happened to spawn such an extreme reaction?
A Taxing Situation
Under the previous laws, bookmakers, casinos and anyone connected with the betting industry were able to register outside of the UK, and not face any financial issues from the British taxation laws. If you’re an account holder with a major bookie then you may already be aware that many are licensed in remote countries such as Gibraltar, Malta and beyond.
However, from the 01st December 2014 all that has to change as the UK government applies a point of consumption tax at a rate of 15%. Essentially, that means that any operator who provides their gaming services within the UK betting sites will have to pay that rate and while there are millions of pounds in turnover at stake here, it’s easy to understand why this is uncomfortable for many of those affected.
In addition to the tax levelled at the betting industry, all operators looking to provide services in the UK will have to apply for a licence from the UK Gambling Commission which is responsible for all betting in the United Kingdom. It doesn’t matter if the company involved has been trading here for decades, they will still have to apply.
Upon hearing the news, a number of bookmakers reacted with their feet and currently, it is not possible for anyone based in the UK to trade with the likes of Sbobet and 12Bet. Meanwhile, Mansion Casino has also closed its doors to anyone located in Great Britain.
If that sort of action sounds harsh, it’s worth bearing in mind that millions of pounds of revenue is at stake here and while many will consider those involved to be greedy, that is going to represent a huge dent in profits so it’s no great surprise that this has happened.
There may, potentially, be ways around the issue with third parties, based outside of the UK, offering to act as some form of go between but anyone entering into such an agreement would have to be wary.
Fortunately, the vast majority of bookmakers and casinos – including all of our familiar household names, are maintaining their original position and will hopefully continue to offer accounts to UK based customers for the foreseeable future.
Currently, there is no detrimental effect on the UK customer from a financial point of view and no signs that the government will re-introduce a tax on betting anytime soon. However, the small minority of bookmakers withdrawing their services could grow even further and the situation has to be monitored.
For the moment, it’s perfectly possible to continue your activity with the huge range of outlets both online and in the high street but this new legislation may yet have serious implications for our gaming habits.