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Online Casino Gambling in Britain

The British Gaming board explains that for year, betting bookmakers have been accepting bets through the telephone from clients with credit cards. There should be no reason that bookmakers should not be able to receive wagers by email. This would not turn them into an online casino. Likewise, football pools also accepts wagers by mail, so email should also be allowed here. These sportsbookers have chosen to have their telephone and internet servers abroad, like most online casino sites, but not because of the problem of legal issues, like the online casino sites, but because of cheaper taxes.

Casinos, bingo and gaming machines may only take place on licensed and registered premises. Unlike at an online casino, the player needs to be on the location at the time of the bet. An operator who would wish to set up an internet link, effectively turning it into an online casino, would not be able to obtain a license to do so and it would be illegal. Online casino sites are not yet regulated in Britain, even though there are strong moves towards this type of regulation with the British Gambling Act.

There is nothing in the legislation, which makes it illegal, or seeks to prevent, British residents from playing at online casino sites from their own homes. The position in respect of public places such as Internet cafes is less clear and more difficult. There are restrictions regarding online casino sites advertising in Britain, but this issue and many others will hopefully be resolved once the Gambling Act is implemented.

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.