The popularity and growth of online poker across the world has required just about every country to analyze and review their laws regarding online gambling. One of the reasons for this is because the online gambling industry is extremely lucrative and governments can benefit greatly by imposing taxes and carefully monitoring all financial transactions.
The online poker scene in the UK has grown significantly during the last 5 years and the U.K. Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently issued a notice to all international gambling operators, giving them a deadline to register for a poker license.
The UKGC has asked all gambling operators to apply for a poker license before the 16th of Sep 2014, failing which they will not be allowed to legally operate in the UK.
The UKGC is imposing stricter laws that will ensure the online gambling industry is a lot more regulated and better monitored. The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act will most likely come into play from the 1st of Oct 2014. There are a number of offshoregambling companies who are registered overseas but still have operations in the UK and earn revenue from online poker players in the UK. These offshore providers will now have to register for a poker license before 16th Sep 2014, if they want to continue offering online poker services in the UK.
If these offshore operators fail to obtain a license before the deadline, their operations in the UK will be banned and automatically be termed as illegal. The UKGC wants to regulate the industry in the UK to ensure that these offshore gambling companies pay a fee for earning revenue from UK based poker players. Apart from this, the new Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act will also require offshore gambling companies to pay a 15% tax on all profits made from online poker players in the UK.
The new Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act was first introduced in Parliament on the 9th of May 2014 and then was later given Royal Assent on the 14th of May. The UKGC issued a statement on their website which read
Overseas operators currently lawfully providing remote gambling into Britain will continue to be able to do so, providing they apply for the relevant licenses at the correct time. An operator qualifying for continuation rights whose application has not been determined by us before the new regime commences will be issued with a continuation license, allowing it to continue to operate pending the final determination of its application.