New UK Gambling Bill Gets the Nod of Approval
The new UK Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill received final approval from parliament and is now awaiting final approval by the House of Lords in order to come into force.The current Gambling Act of 2005 does not require gambling operators, who have their gambling equipment located outside of the UK, to have an operating license whereas those operators whose equipment is located in the country, do require a license.
The new bill will also now require that all operators who advertise and accept UK customers, irrespective of where their equipment is located, will require a license. Included in the new bill was a last minute amendment by Lord Gardiner of Kimble to extend the Statutory Horserace Betting Levy to all operators who operate remotely.
The aim of extending this levy is to ensure a consistent and fair way for all bookmakers, local and abroad, to hold a license.
There were concerns that the levy could fall foul of EU law. The UK government will begin discussions with the EU Commission in the coming week.
There were attempts by Lord Browne of Belmont to delay the Bill subject to the outcome of the review into the effects of gambling related advertising, but this had no effect and the bill moved forward.