Press release

British consumers will be better protected by planned changes to gambling laws

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Remote Gambling to be regulated ‘at point of consumption, not point of supply’

All gambling operators selling into the British market - whether based in the UK or abroad - will have to obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission, under plans announced today by John Penrose, Minister responsible for gambling policy and regulation.

It’s estimated the internet gambling market in Europe will be worth 12.3 billion Euros by 2012 and the proposals will, for the first time, mean that remote gambling is regulated at the point of consumption not the point of supply, ensuring British consumers will always be protected, no matter which online gambling site they visit.

John Penrose said:

“The current system for regulating remote gambling doesn’t work.  Overseas operators get an unfair advantage over UK based companies, and British consumers who gamble online may have little or no protection depending on where the operator they deal with happens to be based. So our new proposals are an important step to help address concerns about problem gambling and to plug a regulatory gap, ensuring a much more consistent and higher level of protection for those people in the UK who gamble online.

“We will create a level playing field, so all overseas operators will be subject to the same standards and requirements as those based in Britain, as well as being required to inform the Gambling Commission about suspicious betting patterns to help fight illegal activity and corruption in betting.”

At the moment any gambling operator who wants to offer their services in Britain must be licensed or regulated in either an EEA state or one of the states approved by DCMS on the ‘White List.’ The plans announced today will replace this system, increasing protection for British consumers and establishing fairer competition for British-based online operators.

Notes to Editors

  1. The government will be working with the Gambling Commission and other stakeholders to develop the detailed arrangements for the new licensing system, which will require changes to primary legislation.
  2. To ensure minimum disruption for operators in the British market, a period of transition will be put in place, which will see operators already fully licensed in EEA member states and the existing white-listed jurisdictions entitled to, or eligible for an automatic transitional licence to prevent them having to cease trading.
  3. Ministerial Written Statement on Remote Gambling Policy Proposals.

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