November 08, 2013

UK government moves forward with “point of consumption” tax

The point of consumption tax that has caused so much contention amongst online gambling operators working and serving the UK market has taken another step to becoming into effect with a second reading in the house of commons.

The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill was passed unopposed at second reading in the Commons on 5 November, Under the terms of the bill, all overseas operators offering gambling services to customers in the UK will be required to hold a UK Gambling Commission licence. Currently these businesses are governed by the regulatory authorities of countries in which they are based.

Culture minister Helen Grant told MPs that the new licensing requirement will make overseas operators “the subject of robust and consistent regulation, increasing protection for UK consumers, supporting action against illegal activity and establishing fairer competition for British-based operators”.

Labour’s culture spokesman Clive Efford said the bill had been “a long time coming”. But he questioned why it did not include action against match-fixing in sport.

He said the European Parliament had passed a resolution to make match-fixing a criminal offence and sports governing bodies had also strengthened their own laws.

“Why when we are attempting to create the most robust system for regulating the gambling industry here in the UK would we fail to introduce this specific form of sanction?” he asked.

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