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UK gambling act. Can you register if you are abroad ?

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by sscrabble, Oct 14, 2014.

    Oct 14, 2014
  1. sscrabble

    sscrabble Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    accountancy
    Location:
    UK
    I am a UK player, so will lose non-licensed casinos -- but, as the winter weather in the UK is not great, I will be spending maybe 3 months in warmer countries.

    So if I was in Malta for instance - could I reregister with a casino using my hotel or apartment address in that country, and using paypal or neteller rather than my UK bank account? I suppose the question is -- who is not allowed to play - UK residents, regardless of where they are, or just anyone trying to play in the UK? (so would a malta resident be allowed to play while they were on holiday in the UK?)

    I asked customer support - they have no idea - they do not know how the new laws work.
     
  2. Oct 14, 2014
  3. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    The new laws refer to "physically present in the UK", so in theory someone who comes here on holiday cannot play at their usual casino unless it has a UK license. The casino would also have to pay the tax on a non UK player who was physically present here when losing.

    This looks pretty complicated, so I expect the casinos will adopt a simpler solution that is easier to administer. Foreign players would not be allowed to play whilst physically present in the UK, and in most cases, UK players would not be able to play at a non UK licensed casino when on holiday.

    The exception might be if the UK player had a permanent second holiday home, such as their own Spanish villa, in which they spent several months per year. This would allow them to register with a permanent residential address in Spain (for example), rather than a temporary hotel room. They would also have to ensure that said player did not continue to play when back in the UK, so the complication vs the gain of a few weeks of revenue per year may mean that the casino decides it's not worth it, and bans players who are normally resident in the UK.

    A player could easily get around this though if they DID have their own second home abroad, but the problems would come when it came to verification, because despite the foreign address and internet connection, their documents would still be UK ones. The only sure way would be for the UK player to acquire permanent (or dual) residency, and be issued with native documents instead of, or alongside, their UK ones. This is entirely permissible under EU freedom of movement of labour rules, in fact, anyone from the EU who spends more than a year here in the UK is REQUIRED to convert their foreign drivers licence into a UK one, and also to reregister any car they brought in with them with the DVLA, and to change over to UK issued plates.

    You will have to approach casinos on a case by case basis, as there is unlikely to be a blanket industry policy. Front line CS will not have the answer, it will have to come from management and also legal advice from the casino's lawyers might be needed.
     
  4. Oct 14, 2014
  5. Richas

    Richas Senior Member

    Occupation:
    Project Manager
    Location:
    UK
    As ever this is fairly complicated. Whilst the UKGC are sticking to a definition of physically in the UK the taxman has accepted that sites should use usual residence, allowing people here on holiday or business to stick with their normal site and at the same time saying that the UK player overseas or on holiday should be treated as a UK player for tax purposes.

    In practice this means that if you log on from the wrong country for an extended period the site will need to check your real residence. With the three month holiday I would suggest talking to the site about it up front and letting them decide how to treat you, Malta and UK are both legal so it should not be a big problem. For short term holidays in places where play is allowed there should not be a problem from the UK end.

    Obviously if the holiday was the US or say Spain where they have either a ban or more rigid national site licences the laws that play are where you are not the UK ones so you would likely be blocked
     
  6. Oct 14, 2014
  7. sscrabble

    sscrabble Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    accountancy
    Location:
    UK


    So that is the opposite view to vinylweatherman - you are saying a non-uk player can still play in the UK if they come here on holiday (my understanding was that the sites would be completely unavailable to anyone in the UK)-- you also seem to be saying that a UK player CAN play while they are abroad , but the casino would have to pay tax. That does not really sound realistic ? Surely the tax is on the casino operating in the UK - nothing to do with whether they are resident here ? If it was done your way I could just get a relative abroad to register, and then use his ID to play over here 'on his behalf' ?
     
  8. Oct 14, 2014
  9. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    In practice, they would probably be blocked due to geolocation. Given that this is a difference of opinion between the UKGC and HMRC, this is not going to be simple, and may require further clarification from parliament or the courts.

    This is all very new to the industry, and maybe this isn't something they have properly considered yet, but it's something they are going to have to face at some point.
     
  10. Oct 18, 2014
  11. Richas

    Richas Senior Member

    Occupation:
    Project Manager
    Location:
    UK
    Yes vinyl and I are taking different views on this (much like HMRC & UKGC :D )

    This is what the UKGC say about it. In summary the sites do not need real time geolocation but must make "all reasonable" efforts to get players on to the UK regulated site. In practice it means those on holiday will be able to access their usual client from the UK but if they stay a while the site will query the residence.

    For some moving dynamically to the UK version will be very easy, te software is likely to be pretty much the same, all they would need is a popup confirming the gambling is under UK regulatory control and/or the front page link to the licence.

    I do not anticipate a big problem re the HMRC and UKGC using different definitions for tax vs play of what a UK player is. Both are sensible definitions for the purposes of each organisation.


     
  12. Oct 18, 2014
  13. sscrabble

    sscrabble Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    accountancy
    Location:
    UK
    'The Commission expects operators to take all reasonable steps to make sure customers physically located in Britain only access the operator’s facilities for gambling via the Commission licensed entity.'

    The licensing actually only applies to UK players if they are physically playing in the UK , so in theory the casinos should be able to leave your account details active , and there should be no problem if you login and play on them if you are abroad (?). I will be asking the question of the casinos - but the trouble is you cannot get past customer support - and they are not decision makers and there kowledge is usually very basic - it appears you just cannot get to management to discuss things like with them !
     
  14. Oct 18, 2014
  15. Richas

    Richas Senior Member

    Occupation:
    Project Manager
    Location:
    UK
    Precisely, accessing the UK account from a legal overseas jurisdiction is fine according to the UK regulator, it is also fine according to HMRC who will want their 15% of revenues from your holiday play, the casino though may think that it is worth moving your account for 3 months play to another site to avoid that tax hit. If you are in Malta they can make more from you if you use the non UK version of their site.
     

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