While addiction to gambling has always been a debatable point and affects whether it should continue to be legal, the UK government has recently made several decisions that will impact online and offline gambling. Primarily, increased taxation has been a main focus, however, other concerns are rising in the news. Lobbyists on both sides of the argument have been criticized for exaggerating data that says online casinos are promoting addiction, and will also dramatically increase job rates.
Pro and anti-gambling lobbyists may be exaggerating claims
The Scottish Executive Social Research firm recently accused both sides of the gambling issue of exaggerating data. On the one hand, anti-gambling proponents state that gambling is creating major social issues and crime. Alternatively, the claims that pro-gambling lobbyists make that it will significantly create jobs and reinvigorate downtrodden communities are also inaccurate.
Regardless of statistics produced by industry watchers, it appears that the UK government will continue a trend of imposing restrictions on the gambling industry. Steve Donoughue, a gambling consultant, stated that he feels that UK lawmakers that want to reduce gambling are exhibiting class prejudice since most gamblers are working class. This has detrimental effects on newcomers to the gambling business. In particular the head of one of the UK’s largest bookmakers said that a sane person should avoid launching an online gambling business due to the current political turmoil.
Taxation considered, non-UK firms given new rules
In November 2013, the UK Gaming Bill that highlights online gambling taxation was re-examined for a third time in the House of Commons. Now advanced to the House of Lords, the bill is expected to be implemented at the end of 2014. Currently, UK online gambling firms are paying 15 percent of their revenue to taxation. One of the key differences in the new bill is that offshore gambling companies will no longer be exempt from the taxation.
In other words, if a company is doing business with UK gamblers, they will need to pay the new tax. All online gaming companies open to UK gamblers will still need to have the UK Gambling Commission license, regardless of country of origin. One other major change is that UK and non-UK-based firms will be required to report suspicious betting behaviours.