UK Internet Gambling Legislation Problems

The last week has seen well-known gambling jurisdiction of Gibraltar and Northern Ireland express their concerns pertaining to the current  situation of internet gambling in the United Kingdom.

Gibraltar Concerns

The Gibraltar Chronicle said that the government of Gibraltar is unhappy with the United Kingdom’s plan since it aims to impose a point of consumption tax on internet casinos. Gibraltar plays host to numerous internet gambling operators which are licensed and regulated here. It provides a steady income direct and indirect employment to more than five thousand Gibraltar citizens. Chief Minister Fabian Picardo categorically stated that the British Government’s intended UK point of consumption tax would adversely affect the economy of Gibraltar.

During the eGaming Summit in Gibraltar the matter was discussed with Maria Brennan of HM Treasury. The implementation of secondary licenses from UK regulators for Gibraltar-licensed internet gaming sites which services the UK market was vehemently opposed by Gaming Minister Gilbert Licudi. He said that Gibraltar’s licensing and regulation regime upholds a higher standard than the UK’s since it ensures that UK punters can wager in a safe and secure gaming environment. In order to safeguard the territory’s gaming industry the Gibraltar Chronicle reported that the leading Gibraltar licensed internet casino operators and the Government have joined forces and are thinking of taking legal action.

Northern Ireland Concerns

Forming part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland voiced its concerns that the popularity of internet gambling might have a negative impact on its citizens since it encourages excessive and problem gambling. Chairman of the Social Development Committee, Politician Alex Maskey requested that the UK government revise its gambling laws to address the fallout caused by internet gambling. He asked his colleagues in the Stormont Executive to put pressure on David Cameron and his government. He said problem gambling incidences are on the up due to the fact that gambling on the internet is easy accessible to punters. Land based book makers on the other hand are facing stiff competition from internet betting sites in Northern Ireland and requested relaxations. For instance they want to operate on Sundays and are busy setting up mobile phone and computer channels to properly communicate with punters.

Maskey stressed that his committee is “in somewhat of a limbo because we are waiting to hear whether the department or the minister are actually intending to do anything”. Should the response be negative or no response is received then the committee would be compelled to use every resource and connections to lobby with the concerned government department to nudge them into action. In conclusion, the final analysis revealed that internet gambling has a negative impact on public members which the government represents.



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