Expert dismisses fears of UK 'exodus' as Pinnacle exits market

Expert dismisses fears of UK 'exodus' as Pinnacle exits market

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 Totally Gaming

A betting industry legal expert has rubbished concerns that the departures of some gambling services from the UK market due to new legislation could turn into an “exodus”.

Pinnacle Sports has become the latest online gaming operator to confirm that it will be unable to offer services to “any players resident in Great Britain... due to imminent changes to British gambling licensing regulations” from the end of September.

Online poker operator Mansion Poker closed its service in the UK yesterday (Monday) after citing “changing regulations regarding online gaming the UK”.

However, David Schollenberger, who is a partner at Healys LLP and heads the gaming and leisure team at the law firm, believes the implementation of the UK’s new Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act on October 1 will not lead to a flurry of further withdrawals from the market.

“The legislation will have an impact in that it is obviously going to require companies that are serious about the UK to obtain the necessary licence,” Schollenberger told TotallyGaming.com.

“However, I don’t think that it will lead to a mass exodus and I think some fears have been overstated.

“Maybe some relatively fringe players might drop out, but the UK is a substantial gambling market.”

Under the new Act, all remote gambling operators in the UK market must obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission, the industry’s national regulator, to allow them to transact with British customers and advertise in the UK.

Offshore operators wishing to continue offering services in Britain have until midnight tonight (Tuesday) to apply for a licence.

“Moving towards a point-of-consumption approach is an inevitable step by the UK as other EU countries have done this already,” Schollenberger added.

“I suspect that the companies that have left and will leave the UK have stronger markets elsewhere and probably feel that obtaining the UK licence is not worth the associated costs in terms of tax and regulatory fees.

“It really depends on the business models of the individual companies, but I really don’t think there is cause for huge alarm.”

In announcing its exit, Pinnacle Sports left the door ajar for a possible return to the UK.

“We thank all British players for betting with Pinnacle Sports, and should we obtain a British gambling licence in the future, we would be more than happy to accept your business,” the company said.

Latest
No alternative text provided

Argyll switches to entertainment focused SportNation.bet

No alternative text provided

GambleAware targets industry support to boost brand awareness

No alternative text provided

Titanbet censured over expired Grand National promotion

Early Android leaders: Sporting Index rolls out spread betting app

Gaming Products & Services Directory

The essential directory for the gaming industry