Change on the horizon for UK online gaming market

Change on the horizon for UK online gaming market

Friday, 3 May 2013

Online casino players in the UK could soon be in for some big changes after the influential Culture, Media and Sport Committee earlier this week approved proposed changes to the governing 2005 Gambling Act.

One of the most controversial proposed alterations to the laws surrounding online gambling would see iGaming operators taxed and regulated based on where their players are based rather than where they are licensed or located.

This ‘point of consumption’ proposal is part of the draft Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill first put forward late last year and would see offshore operators pay tax on their UK-based players.

After assessing the main parts of the Bill, the Committee largely agreed with the proposal, which means it will now move onto the next stage in the legislative process.

One area of doubt which the Committee did have, however, was the level of taxation. At present the proposal calls for a levy of 15 percent on gross gaming revenue. For many this is too high and has raised concerns that it might encourage players to not play on site regulated in the UK.

Indeed, this point alone could become a major sticking point for some government officials as well as gaming companies and players. While some online gaming sites have already agreed to the idea of taxation, many will feel that 15 percent will put too much pressure on their profits and possibly see them pull out of the UK market or increase the rake UK-based players are required to pay.

Tags: UK, Tax, Culture Media and Sport Committee, 2005 Gambling Act, Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill