UK Online Gambling News

01/02/2012
By Pamela PattersonGoogle

In anticipation of the UK Treasury’s upcoming survey of Great Britain’s online gambling industry, currently evaluated at about £1.7 billion, a new regulatory measure has been brought to parliament by Matthew Hancock, a Conservative Party MP.  His controversial proposal aims to replicate a legal status created by a recent court decision in South Africa.  Judge Jonathan Heher of the North Gauteng High Court decided in a case between Piggs Peak Casino in Swaziland and a player in South Africa that the legally defined location of the playing is the location of the player and not the location of the operator.  Hancock’s proposal seeks to implement this legal policy in England.  In order to push the proposal through quickly, Hancock tried inserting it into the annual finance bill.  However, other lawmakers saw no justification for the move and shut it down.

 

Another measure recently proposed in anticipation of the Treasury survey calls to close up the tax loopholes that many non-British offshore casino operators enjoy with the current tax code.  According to the current tax code, offshore casinos that currently control the majority of England’s market share don’t have to pay taxes to the British government.  The Department of Culture, Media, and Sport has involved the Treasury Department to solve the problem.  This measure has broad support in parliament and is likely to be passed shortly.

 

William Hill, one of the largest online gambling operators in England is actually based offshore; they stand to be hit hardest by the new bill.  In order to prevent the passing of the bill, they hired a third party firm, Deloittes, to prepare a report for lawmakers to reconsider.  The Deloittes report stated that if the bill is passed, it will lead to an increased use of unlicensed casinos.

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