A blow for the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association's plans to challenge point-of-consumption licensing and tax law in the UK
The announcement by William Hill plc, one of the biggest online and land bookmaking firms in the business, that it will not support the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association's challenge to Britain's new point-of-consumption secondary licensing and taxation laws will take much of the wind out of the Association's sails.
In its report on the challenge this week The Telegraph newspaper included a statement from William Hill plc indicating its opposition to the Gibraltar challenge and advising:
"As the UK's leading operator, William Hill has chosen not to challenge the [British] Government's decision to impose dual regulation on the online gambling industry.
"However, our original concerns regarding the distortive effects on the market and the inadequacy of enforcement mechanisms, remain.
"Our message to Government would be to strike the correct balance between overlapping regulation and enforcement by setting an appropriate tax rate which encourages full compliance without damaging businesses."
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed that a letter on behalf of the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association giving notice of its intention to call for a judicial review of the new law had been received and would be responded to "in due course."
The GBGA represents gambling companies that have based their online businesses in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar.
The Association contends that the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, which will require operators to apply for a licence from the UK Gambling Commission, even though they may already be regulated in Gibraltar, is in breach of European law and will expose British punters to "unscrupulous operators".
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