The UK government is preparing to reform the regulations governing overseas-based online gaming operators, according to a report in the country’s Observer newspaper. At present, overseas-based online gaming operators can advertise and offer services within the UK without being licensed by its Gambling Commission, as long as they are licensed by a jurisdiction that the Gambling Commission approves of.
This could now be revised following the charges brought against Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars by the US in April, and the recent collapse of Full Tilt after its license was suspended by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. The UK government has now completed a wide-ranging consultation of online gaming regulation and expects to publish the results shortly.
Referring to the Full Tilt case, a spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport commented: “This highlights why the government is looking at reforming how overseas-based operators are regulated and we hope to make an announcement in the next few weeks.”
The UK government will set out to licensing offshore gambling operators serving the UK market, which it says is designed to primarily increase consumer protection, but is seen by some in the industry as an attempt to increase the governments take on gambling revenues. This move could see big companies like Ladbrokes Casino and William Hill Casino moving casino operations back to the UK. The move could see British protectorates like Gibraltar and Alderney who currently issue their own gaming licences losing out in any new regulation.