The controversial UK Gambling law which was set to take effect 1 October 2014 has been postponed by one month to 1 November 2014. Sportsbook Review recently reported of the new gambling law and how online sportsbooks reacted to the coming legislation.
The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act or "GLA" requires betting sites that cater to clients residing in the UK to hold a license from the UK Gambling Commission. The requirement is the major component behind the reform to existing statute The Gambling Act, which was established in 2005. Under this previous law, sportsbooks have only needed a UK Gambling Commission license if they operated remote (internet) gambling equipment within Great Britain that served local users. Great Britain includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Bookmakers with local or land based presences in some cases chose to ground their online betting operations in the likes of Antigua and Barbuda, Alderney, or Isle of Man. These operators, as well as any other online sportsbook serving UK residents, must apply for licensing with the UK Gambling Commission for their online business. Pinnacle Sports (SBR rating A+), which operates out of Curacao, announced its exit from the UK market ahead of the legislation coming into effect. SBOBet and 12Bet were among the sportsbooks to also cut their UK business.
The deadline for online sportsbooks to apply for licensing with the UK Gambling Commission has also been extended to 23 October 2014, as reported on the UK Gambling Commission website.
Holding a license with the UK Gambling Commission is just one aspect of the GLA; there is also a highly controversial "point of consumption tax" of 15% for gross gambling profits generated from UK customers. This element of the legislation takes effect as of 1 December 2014.
The following statement was made on the UK Gambling Commission website.
UK Gambling Commission: "The commencement of the 2014 Act has been postponed by one month, and will now come into force on 1 November. As a result of the change in the date of commencement, the transitional provisions will be extended and advance applications for a continuation licence will be able to be made to the Commission up to and including 23 October 2014.
This means that operators who are currently able to provide facilities for gambling in Great Britain (because they are permitted to do so in an EEA or white-listed jurisdiction, or Gibraltar) will be able to continue to do so after the Act comes into force and pending determination of their applications provided they either submitted their application, with the relevant application fee, by 16 September or now do so before midnight on 23 October 2014.
As a consequence the dates of 30 September and 1 October in the parts of the current transitional provisions SI which deal with fees will become 31 October and 1 November."
Sportsbook Review will keep readers informed as online sportsbooks either decide to apply for licensing with the UK Gambling Commission or instead exit the market.