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UK seeks to license overseas based online gambling

By mr-gambling on 2011-07-25 14:08:46

It was last year that licensing and tax were all the talk in general gambling news when the European Courts of Justice rules that individual EU countries could in fact ban online gambling sites despite the fact that earlier there was a push for an online gambling site licensed in one EU country to be allowed to operate in another. The general gambling news picked up on the story after Ladbrokes were refused a license to operate in the Netherlands which of course had nothing to do with the fact that the Netherlands runs a state owned monopoly that controls all gambling in the country. Even here in Ireland whilst there is no issue with licenses there have been discussions reported in the gambling news about how the Government could get some money from online gambling through taxation although obviously the difficulty lies in the fact that most online gambling operators are based overseas in tax friendly environments. General gambling news now learns that a week or so ago the UK Government outlined plans that would require companies operating online gambling to have a license issued by the Gambling Commission. The possible idea behind this, as it was from the ECJ,  is that online gambling should be controlled for the protection of consumers and prevention of fraud and money laundering but the fear is that this is merely a precursor to efforts to tax profits made from UK players despite the company being based overseas. The UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport did not specifically mention taxation but it did say that online gambling companies based offshore were not “bearing a fair share of costs of regulation”. Any conclusion is far off and implementation would still be difficult but it could cost online gambling bookmakers a chunk of profits.