UK’s Proposed Gambling Bill for Online Casino and Betting Operators Passes Parliamentary Review
The Gambling Bill for Point of Consumption (POC) Tax, and required licensing for online casino and betting operators, proposed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) passed the review of the UK parliament’s DCMS Select Committee. The passing signals the bill’s introduction to the Parliamentary for legislative proceedings.
The DCMS Select Committee approved the founding principle of the bill, as one that aims to regulate offshore-based Internet gambling operators on a point of consumption basis. This is in view of the apparent regulatory weaknesses as far as transparency, consistency and provision of Internet gambling information is concerned. Thus, it is necessary for offshore-based online gambling companies to contribute to funds that go toward the costs of regulatory measures, research, education and programs for the rehabilitation of problem gamblers
The proposed bill likewise includes obliging the remote Internet casinos and telephone-betting operators, to provide the Gambling Commission with information about any unusual and distrustful betting behaviors manifested by its UK players. Based on these, the select committee arrived at a conclusion that the imposition of the POC licensing fees and taxes are consequential to DCMS’ regulatory objectives.
However, the DCMS Select Committee instructed the Treasury Department to evaluate the proposed tax rate thoroughly, as the reviewing body took note of the concerns aired about the 15 percent POC tax on Gross Gaming Revenues (GGR). Based on UK Deloitte’s assessment, the high rate could drive about 40 percent of the existing offshore online gambling businesses, away from UK’s market and toward the gray market areas.
Although Internet gambling operators already licensed and based in the UK are exempt from paying the POC taxes, they are nonetheless, obligated to pay corporate taxes to the UK government.