The UK and Online Gambling Legislation
The first step to modernisation of online gambling in the UK occurred with the formulation of the Gambling Act in 2005. A major action within the act was the creation of the UK Gambling Commission to determine licensing and regulation. The licensing process first started in January 2006 and it took until September 2007 before the first wave of operators to receive them.
Online gambling is taxed in the UK at a rate of 15% of gross profit. When it comes to betting, poker and pools, operators instead pay 15% tax on their commission. (Click here to get the latest UK Duty Rates)
The UK is somewhat exclusive when it comes to advertising from international gambling operators. The 2005 act mentions some whitelisted countries that are allowed to do so, with these including Alderney, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Antigua & Bermuda and Tasmania.
Currently in the works is the Draft Gambling Bill from December 2012. This to be enforced by December 2014 and it will see online gambling operators earning revenues in the UK forced to pay 15% tax on these. The only way to avoid the tax will be to ensure that UK players cannot access your site. Additionally, the cost of applications will be increased.
There are four types of licence condition that may be attached to operating licences, under the Gambling Act 2005: general and individual conditions (which are attached by the Gambling Commission), conditions imposed by the Secretary of State (made through statutory instruments) and statutory conditions imposed by the Gambling Act 2005 itself.
- General licence conditions can be applied to an individual operating licence or a class of operating licence (for example, all betting operating licences).
- Individual licence conditions can be applied to an individual operating licence. They are likely to address matters concerning an individual operator and their activities.
- Conditions imposed by the Secretary of State may be applied to a class of operating licence.
- Statutory conditions may be applied to a class of operating licence.