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Online Gambling regulation for UK players starting December 2014

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by catapultaudio, Jun 14, 2014.

    Jun 14, 2014
  1. catapultaudio

    catapultaudio Senior Member

    Occupation:
    Computer Programmer
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    Hi all,

    I've seen a lot of chatter on the forum recently regarding some changes to the law for online gambling customers based in the UK due to take effect from December 2014. I was interested to know what this might mean for me and found the following page:

    You must register/login in order to see the link.

    I've not read it all comprehensively because it mostly sounds like it is purely related to taxing the providers of these services, and I can guess that from that point of view it simply means some providers will choose to stop offering there services to us in the UK, and maybe some more will add additional fees for some services perhaps...

    But I have seen people speak of enhanced protection for players as a result of these changes and other effects of this new legislation too - Vinylweatherman you have mentioned it a lot, can you please share what you know about all this and also any casino reps who know of any changes on the horizon that are going to affect UK players, I'd be extremely interested to hear from everyone with any further information on this subject.

    I would hate for the UK to end up in a situation like our unfortunate USA cousins, blocked from most online gambling "for our own protection" ...

    thanks in advance!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Jun 14, 2014
  3. paul7388

    paul7388 Meister Member MM

    Occupation:
    not a lot
    Location:
    glasgow scotland
    Thanks for sharing that made an interesting read. From what I read id imagine there will be quite a few casinos that will no longer take uk players tho I could be wrong as I cant see some of the smaller operators paying the tax to our goverment as with casinos already cutting costs etc. it would be quite an outlay . Guess we will have to wait till end of year to see how it affects us.
     
  4. Jun 15, 2014
  5. nikantw

    nikantw Ueber Meister MM PABaccred

    Occupation:
    A bit of this and that
    Location:
    EU
    Taxing on “place of consumption” is fair. Normally, all reputable operators will have no problem with that.

    What could be a problem is how the tax is applied to. If a country wants to favor local operators, and eliminate their competition, will ask for a retroactive tax on Gross Gambling Revenue. Sadly, EC allows this.

    All taxes come down to more expensive product. But a retroactive tax on GGR will simply make it impossible for any big offshore operator to keep providing services. UK players don’t have to worry for any of this.

    If I understood this correctly, UK players may only experience a bit more expensive product (smaller RTP on the games). But taxing on GGR is a dangerous idea. An operator with an average RTP of 95% (GGR 5%), and an operational cost of 70% (on GGR), if forced to pay a 30% tax on GGR, he will have to lower the RTP to less than 93%.
     
  6. Jun 15, 2014
  7. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    That is about the tax side. The player protection part comes as a by product because all operators taking bets from UK customers must now hold a UKGC licence in addition to their main offshore licence. This means that UK customers no longer have to complain to a foreign jurisdiction like the LGA, they can complain to the UKGC, and have their case determined under English law, or maybe Scottish law if living north of Berwick.

    How much improvement we see in player protection depends on how effective the UKGC is in dealing with complaints. The main benefit would be that OUR consumer protection laws would apply, and we could take action in the English courts for damages, such as the confiscation of winnings based on a term deemed "unfair" under the British consumer protection laws.

    Currently, players who try to get help are told they have to complain to the overseas jurisdiction. The Betfair case was something of an illustration. The UK regulators and dispute resolution services refused to help when the money was confiscated from the casino, but some players had moved it to the sportsbook before it got confiscated, and they were able to seek redress by making a complaint against the sportsbook for allowing the money to be taken from there. Since this WAS regulated in the UK, they had more chance in getting redress, and there were reports that where players issued small claims proceedings against the sportsbook, they paid up before the case went before a judge.

    From December 2014, this would also be the case for any "legal" UK facing casino. The problem for players is that some "illegal" ones will deliberately ignore the UK rules, and still accept UK players because their jurisdiction does not cooperate with the UK. Unless the UK takes measures to block access to such sites, players will still be able to access them and play, and no amount of regulation has so far managed to stop spam, even postal scams and cold calling from abroad, despite the practices being illegal under UK law.

    In order to enjoy the extra protection, players will have to do their own checks as to whether the casino that has been marketed to them, or that they have found on some affiliate site, is "UK legal". They should NOT regard any statement about this on the casino site itself as proof absolute, the rogues will lie.

    The UKGC should have it's own list, and implement the ability for players to check whether the casino they play at is properly licenced. How good this service is depends on how they implement it, and if they screw up, they can expect some "feedback" from the more experienced players.

    As for having until 1st December, I am not so sure. We already have one casino kicking out UK players from this month because they don't yet have their UK licence in place, even though they have until 1st December to get their systems in order for tax collection. This is a worrying sign that UK players may well experience something along the lines of what happened in some other EU countries in the months leading up to regulatory changes. Most worrying is that these cut offs happened randomly without any advance notification to affected players, leaving them in quite a mess with money trapped in casino accounts and bound by half finished wagering requirements, along with a pretty complex process of unravelling the situation due to having to go back and forth with CS because they couldn't simply log on and submit their own withdrawals.

    If we see casinos getting their UK licence before then, these are the ones that we can reliably assume will not be randomly chucking us out overnight. There are a few that have always held a UK licence.
     
  8. Jun 15, 2014
  9. kazzi

    kazzi Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    Unemployd
    Location:
    Denmark
    Hope it wont be as bad as denmark, when gambling regulations went live here almost every casino put denmark on not allowed lists, think there is 20-25 casinos that we are allowed to play at now.

    And the software changes was insane while we had MG/Playtech/Netent the slots available was years old slots, its really been in the last 6-8months it beginning to change a little we uselly gets netent at release, but MG is 50/50 we might get the major title like terminator 1-3weeks after but none other slots, and playtech is 20slots or something all old only and never added any new in the last years.

    And still waiting on WMS but can be years before we get to play them online at this rate.

    So hoping the best for you guys when it goes live in december.
     
  10. Jun 15, 2014
  11. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Isn't this something to do with every game having to have a "pass" granted for it before it can be offered to you? Maybe these old games were easier to get past the rules, and they decided not to bother with the newer more complicated ones, but concentrate on their high profile games. Having to get a separate license or "pass" for each new game probably explains why the launch is always delayed by a few weeks when you do get them.

    The UK seems to be licensing operators and software suppliers, rather than on a game by game basis.

    So far, we have lost only one casino (that I know of) due to these new regulations, pity it was an accredited one though. It might deter new casinos from taking on UK players, as they would either have to get a license, or end up breaking the new regulations months after launch, or throwing away any UK players they paid good marketing money to attract.
     

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