Online gaming and gambling industry of United Kingdom (UK) is fast changing. Regulations governing online gaming and gambling are also redrafted by UK to bring additional control over foreign online gaming and gambling service providers who are targeting UK territory and its citizens. Internet service providers (ISPs) in UK were also asked to insert warning pages for gambling sites that are unlicensed in the UK. However, they refused to comply with this request of UK government.
Meanwhile, the UK Gaming (Licensing and Advertising) Bill has become an applicable law. Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill it received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014. The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 of UK (PDF) has made some significant changes in the way oversees online gaming and gambling service providers have to operate in UK or target UK players.
The Bill is now an Act of Parliament and an applicable law in UK. The Act requires any operator wishing to transact with or advertise to British consumers to obtain an operating licence from the Gambling Commission and is expected to come into force on 01 October 2014. The Act has also introduced 15 percent point of consumption tax applied to gaming operators.
However, the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) has filed a legal challenge against the UK Gambling Commission’s decision of its new licensing system and a 15 percent point of consumption tax for gaming operators. The GBGA believes this regime was designed purely for economic reasons. GBGA Chief Executive Peter Howitt explained in a statement released on Monday, “The only beneficiaries of this change are the UK domestic industry and the Gambling Commission itself, which has persuaded the UK government that it should be the global regulator of this high tech and complex industry.” The GBGA also claims that this regime impedes the right to free movement of services as outlined by Article 56 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union.
Back in India, Indian Supreme Court is hearing about the legality of playing Rummy. While this would be a crucial decision yet it must be kept in mind that despite Supreme Court’s decision, online rummy and online poker may still be punishable in India. The position as on date is that online rummy and online poker are still legally risky in India.
At Perry4Law we believe that Indian players involved in online gaming and gambling activities and targeting UK and Indian markets must comply with both Indian and UK laws. This is really tricky if they intend to explore other foreign markets as well as conflict of laws in cyberspace are really difficult to manage.