The UK government has decided to design stricter online gaming regulations after watching the struggles of Full Tilt Poker, one of the biggest US online poker sites, to remain in existence.
When the US government cracked down on Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker, non US players believed that they would not be affected. Although Full Tilt Poker could not refund US player deposits, it continued offering poker gaming services to non US players. However, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) suspended Full Tilt Poker’s licenses in late June, after which non US players also lost poker funds deposited at Full Tilt Poker.
So far, offshore online gambling sites could provide gaming services to UK players as long as they were licensed and regulated in a different country. But after the tragic events of Black Friday and especially after Full Tilt Poker’s licenses were suspended, the UK government decided that it ought to tighten its online gaming regulations for the benefits of UK players. Accordingly, the UK government has decided that all offshore online gaming sites and online sportsbooks should obtain the UK Gambling Commission license to operate in the UK.
Even UK-based online sportsbooks and online gambling sites are licensed and regulated by the Government of Gibraltar in a bid to escape the high online gambling taxes in the UK. Heritage Minister John Penrose said that the UK government is willing to change this scenario to encourage online gambling services to obtain a UK Gambling Commission license.
According to MP Matthew Hancock, the “online gambling industry requires a level playing field by ensuring all gambling in the UK pays UK tax and levy.” However, these new regulations need to be first introduced and passed, a process that is time consuming, owing to which the laws will come into effect only 2013 – 14.