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United Kingdom
UK Gambling Commission
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham, England
United Kingdom B2 4BP



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+44 121-2306666

+44 121-2306720

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United Kingdom Jurisdiction News

APCW Perspectives: FOBT catastrophe and UKGC fines
J. Todd has online gambling news from the U.K. this week, as bookmakers are now worried that cutting the stakes on betting machines could have "catastrophic" consequences.

APCW Perspectives: Speaking of gambling news . . .
An interesting show this week, as one story seems to flow directly into the next. News from the U.K., Canada, the U.S., Australia and China make it a well-rounded episode.

APCW Perspectives: A brave, new, regulated world
This week, J. Todd covers stories from the U.K and the U.S., as the two countries grow closer when it comes to online gambling. Plus, online poker liquidity gets a boost in the states.

APCW Perspectives: Rules, bans and sarcasm
J. Todd brings the sarcasm as he takes a look at the online gambling news making headlines this week. Stories of note come from the U.K. and Australia. There's also the approval of an industry merger. Plus, the APCW welcomes a new member.

APCW Perspectives: 'Unfair obstacles' for UK players
This week, the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority is looking at several online gambling companies regarding unfair practices involving player accounts. J. Todd also has news from Australia and Portugal, as well as more fallout over potential changes to fixed odds betting terminals.

APCW Perspectives: Gamblin' in the rain
This week, a decision looms regarding Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in the U.K., and there's some increased interest in the potential U.S. sports betting market.

APCW Perspectives: Rollin' with the changes
The changes keep on coming for the U.K. market, with news this week from the Gambling Commission and Advertising Standards Authority. J. Todd is also covering stories out of the U.S. and Australia.

Lyceum previews 2018 Fire & Ice event
On 7 February, iGaming conference attendees can enjoy a show based on a dystopian future.

APCW Perspectives: Shifting sands and changing tides
J. Todd is talking about more online gambling changes in the U.K. as well as the dramatic about-face on sports betting that could be affecting the U.S.

APCW Perspectives: Net neutrality and online gaming threatened
The Federal Trade Commission (FCC) in the U.S. is poised to kill net neutrality within two weeks. What would that decision mean for online gambling and the internet in general? Also, the U.K. Gambling Commission is teaming with the Advertising Standards Authority, and the results are getting, well, stupid.

Gambling Business Group develops cashless payment system
Designed for the U.K. AGC and bingo sectors, the system processes debit card transactions via an intermediary kiosk, which then supplies Game Play Tickets.

APCW Perspectives: Pennsylvania and other big wins
Though the U.S. state of Pennsylvania has already secured a win for online gambling, opponents are continuing to rail against it. Could this mean anything for the U.K.? And what will the U.K. do about FOBTs? Plus, what can be learned from the travel industry?

APCW Perspectives: Spooky news from the UK
J. Todd has some horrifying Halloween news from the U.K., where the Gambling Commission is on a killing spree. He's also following breaking news out of Pennsylvania and several stories in the GPWA forums.

Snooker champ to return to PokerStars Megastack London
Seven-time snooker world champion Stephen Hendry will once again try his hand at the event, which runs from 20-22 October at The Hippodrome Casino.

Tom Horn Gaming receives UK license
In the coming weeks, the slots supplier will offer its comprehensive selection of games to operators in the jurisdiction.

APCW Perspectives: Supreme gambling news
The New Jersey sports betting challenge is back from the dead. However, things are not looking so positive in Pennsylvania and Illinois. J. Todd also looks at stories from Europe and the U.K.

APCW Perspectives: News from the US, the UK and Belgium
This week, J. Todd reports on several online gambling and fantasy sports stories from the U.S., including a major development for FanDuel and DraftKings. Also, he examines significant changes from the U.K. Gambling Commission that will affect licensees.

This Week in Gambling: Online poker fails in New York again
After a lot of hope and optimism, online poker will not be considered by the New York State Assembly this year. Not all was lost, however, as another state has regulated fantasy sports. Plus, gambling news from New Jersey and the U.K.

Finnplay Group acquires UK licenses
The U.K. Gambling Commission granted the Finnish platform provider with a Remote Gambling Software Operating License.

APCW Perspectives: A more 'normal' show
Following weeks of exposing the dark underbelly of the industry, J. Todd attempts to have a "normal" round of news and information from Amaya Gaming, Gibraltar, the Netherlands and the U.K.

David Pemberton appointed UK Gambling Commission Chief Operating Officer
The role will involve the overseeing of the regulator's corporate services, including Human Resources, finance, IT, planning and risk.

PlayOJO ramps up UK TV ad campaign
Following a successful test period, the advertisements will be rolled out across Channel 5, ITV and E4 post-primetime.

Lightning Box Games content live with William Hill
The company's slot games made their U.K. retail debut after Silver Lion Deluxe went live across William Hills' network of licensed betting offices.

Pragmatic Play acquires UK license
The casino games provider announced that it has been granted a Remote Gambling Software Operating License from the U.K. Gambling Commission.

PlayOJO kicks off TV ad campaign
The series of 30- and 40-second advertisements have begun airing on Channel 4, Sky and digital channels, announcing the casino's entry into the online gaming space.

IWG pens deal with GVC Holdings
The supplier's full suite of instant win games will be made available to GVC via its remote game server, allowing the operator to roll-out instants across its portfolio of brands.

United Kingdom

For years, the U.K. maintained one of the most progressive regulatory frameworks for online gaming in the world. But that changed in 2014.

The Gambling Act 2005 modernized regulations for the U.K. gaming industry. It created the U.K. Gambling Commission, a regulatory body with the authority to license and regulate gambling. The Gambling Commission began accepting applications for licenses on 2 January 2006, and began awarding them in September 2007.

The Gambling Act 2005 includes many conditions concerning problem gambling and requires online gambling licensees to establish policies for promoting socially responsible gambling. These policies must be published and explain how the operator will contribute to the research into the prevention and treatment of problem gambling, to public education on the risks and safety of gambling, and to identification of problem gamblers. Operators must also clearly state on their website where players may seek help for problem gambling. Employers of online gambling operators must ensure their employees are properly trained in identifying problem gambling and have procedures in place for addressing customers on this matter. Online gambling operators must also give their players the ability to exclude themselves from their services and advertisers must comply with the advertising codes of practice to not promote irresponsible gambling behavior, including underage gambling.

The 2005 Act also gave the European Economic Area (EEA) and other "whitelisted" countries unfettered access to the U.K. market. Whitelisted countries outside the EEA include Alderney, Antigua and Barbuda, Gibraltar, Isle of Man and Tasmania. The promotion of international online gambling in the U.K. from countries other than the U.K., the EEA and the "whitelist" is not allowed.

In addition to being able to operate from a whitelisted jurisdiction, online gaming operators were able to enjoy the tax benefits of those jurisdictions as well.

But in December 2014, the U.K. implemented a new regulatory scheme that requires operators to obtain U.K. licenses and implement a 15% point of consumption tax. That means for all wagers placed in the U.K., operators would have to pay a 15% tax on gross profits. This tax rate is in line with the current tax rate for online gaming operators licensed by the U.K.

Previously, many of the big operators in the U.K. operated offshore, where they faced a tax of 1%.

The new 15% tax on gross profits has the potential to significantly eat into overall profits – and it's already changing the industry in ways both expected and completely unexpected.

In the expected camp, offshore jurisdictions like the Isle of Man are looking for ways to give operators financial relief from the new tax. Some operators chose to withdraw from the U.K. market. In the unexpected camp, some operators are restructuring player loyalty programs to account for the new tax. Full Tilt Poker announced a 20% reduction in the rate at which rewards points are given to players. Full Tilt cited the new point of consumption tax as the prime reason for the change.

Online gaming in the U.K. is defined as gambling in which people participate by using "remote communication such as the internet, telephone, television, radio, and any other kind of electronic or other technology for facilitating communication." The U.K.'s objective with its licensing structure is to prevent problem gambling, ensure that online gambling is fair, and protect children and other vulnerable people from the harms of gambling.

Operators may locate their facilities in the country and offer all types of online gaming, including poker, sports and race betting, casino games, and online slots, abiding by the remote and gambling software technical standards as outlined by the Gambling Commission.

Currently, binary options, or fixed-odds bets on financial markets, are regulated as gambling transactions. However, financial betting could soon come out from the scope of the Gambling Act 2005 and be regulated as a financial product. Binary options account for less than 1% of the regulated online gambling market in the U.K., according to the U.K. Gambling Commission.

There are six types of online gambling operating licenses operators may apply for: a casino operating license, a bingo operating license, a general betting operating license, a pool betting operating license, a betting intermediary operating license and a lottery operating license. Operators who wish to operate more than one type need only apply for one betting license type.

To apply for an operating license, applicants must pay an application fee and an annual fee once the operating license is granted. Both the application fees and annual operating fees are based on the type of license and are on a sliding scale based on gross gambling yield.

According to the 2009/2010 Gambling Commission Industry Statistics, the number of licensed operators increased from 366 in 2009 to over 1,000 in 2015. The Commission attributes the increase to society lottery operators obtaining licenses.

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