GBGA hails ‘sensible step’ as UK delays new Gambling Act

GBGA hails ‘sensible step’ as UK delays new Gambling Act

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) has hailed the UK Government’s decision to delay the implementation of the new Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act as a “sensible step”.

The GBGA, which filed a legal challenge against the new regulations and the guidance and policies of the UK Gambling Commission, told TotallyGaming.com that it welcomed the news yesterday (Thursday) that the introduction of the Act had been put back.

The UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said that the implementation date had been postponed by one month to November 1 to give the High Court more time to rule on the legality of the new regime, following the GBGA’s complaint last month.

“We welcome this extremely sensible step from the Government which at least holds the ring for a short period,” a GBGA spokesperson told TotallyGaming.com.

“It may be that they are beginning to understand the potential difficulties into which they have been put by the Gambling Commission in respect of this new licensing regime.”

The GBGA has criticised the Act as “unlawful, because it is an illegitimate, disproportionate and discriminatory interference with the right to free movement of services... and irrational”.

On its part, the DCMS told TotallyGaming yesterday that it remained “fully confident” in its case.

The Act, which includes point-of-consumption tax for offshore betting companies, has led to some operators switching their focus away from the UK.

The Fortune Lounge Group of online casino brands is the latest to confirm its exit from the market, following Pinnacle Sports and Mansion Poker earlier this month.

However, David Schollenberger, who is a partner at Healys LLP and heads the gaming and leisure team at the law firm, told TotallyGaming.com last week that concerns of an “exodus” from the UK market was exaggerated.

Last week, the Gambling Commission confirmed that it had received applications from 161 companies by the original deadline of midnight on September 16 for continuation rights regarding a UK remote gambling licence.

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