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Patchy UK Regulation Puts Online Casino Gamblers at Risk

2007 is nearly upon us and the United Kingdom is still trying to work out the finer details relating to the regulation of online casino sites before the 2005 Gambling Act is set to kick in. Four million Britons are involved in gambling at online casino sites in one way or another and they fork out 5.25-billion GB Pounds in the process. This is a huge amount of money to put at risk – however that is exactly what is happening while the UK government drags its feed regarding regulation and taxation laws pertaining to the future of online casino sites.

The dilemma facing the UK government about online casino sites is complicated to say the least. As mentioned before, millions of players enjoy poker and other gambling entertainment at online casino sites. Out of these millions, it is unknown how many gamblers fall victims to scams, bogus sites or fraud. There is also no way of checking the numbers. The Gambling Act aims to put an end to this problem by regulating online casino operations. The catch? Only sites that have a UK license can be regulated and no sites can start license applications until January 2007.

The question is: Why would online casino sites want to apply for UK licenses in the first place? At present, the government has not yet made any concrete decisions regarding taxation benefits for online casino sites that move their offshore operations onto British soil. The Gambling Commission will have to think of good perks for companies to move back if it hopes to maintain strict standards of regulation in the future.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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