Despite a High Court challenge by the GBGA the new UK Gambling (Licensing and advertising) Act will go into effect on the 1st November 2014. Some believe that the GBGA left it too late to mount their legal challenge but now their efforts have been smashed by a Judge ruling that the new Act is “neither disproportionate, not discriminatory, nor irrational.”
As of the 1st November 2014 all online gambling operators wishing to engage with the UK market will now be required to hold a UK license and pay a 15% tax on gross gaming revenue. The UK government believes that the new 15% point of consumption tax will provide an annual boost of £300m to the tax coffers.
The GBGA were also told to contribute £100,000 towards the costs incurred by the UK Gambling Commission and have since released an official statement expressing its disappointment.
“Cross-border regulatory regimes require significant co-ordination and co-operation on key legal and regulatory issues and the UK already had this with the Gibraltar industry, regulator and jurisdiction. We maintain this law is not in the best interests of consumers, the industry and the regulator itself and that there are more effective ways of dealing with the challenges of regulation and competition in this sector.”
The new UK gambling law and subsequent ‘point of consumption’ taxation scheme has already seen a number of eGaming firms move their UK players to new platforms. PokerStars, Full Tilt and Unibet are amongst the first to make this move. Mansion and Winamax have already left the UK along with Carbon Poker.
Everything is getting interesting now and there’s no doubt lots of further change to follow.