Recently we have seen an increased balkanisation of the online gambling sector within Europe, many Member States have retreated from the core EU principle of freedom to provide services across borders.
The GBGA is advising the UK to implement its proposed changes to the UK online gambling sector in a more careful and strategic manner and to use this as an opportunity to take the initiative within Europe. The UK has the chance to adopt a world leading passporting regime that would still allow it to require UK conduct of business requirements on operators and also to ensure that it taxed the licensed online sector appropriately and lawfully.
The proposed GBGA model allows rigorously regulated jurisdictions such as Gibraltar to continue to offer services into the UK, whilst ensuring that the UK does not “brass-plate” operators in jurisdictions where the UK lacks mutual regulatory relationships and core agreement on a wide range of framework legal issues (e.g. tax assistance, data protection, anti-money laundering, consumer protection).
Our proposed regime will have numerous benefits – not least the GBGA proposals will ensure:
- better protection for UK consumers: who will only be supplied by operators licensed by the UK or in other suitable participating jurisdictions where the operator is based and can be effectively supervised;
- effective conduct of business rules: all licensed operators, whether licensed in the UK or another mutually recognised jurisdiction, must comply with applicable UK conduct of business requirements on a wide range of issues including advertising, anti-money laundering and reporting of suspicious activity, protection of consumer funds, sports integrity and problem gambling;
- that the UK’s international regulatory reputation will not be tarnished: our model removes the need to license operators who have no legal or physical nexus within the UK or even the EU whom the UK will not be able to effectively licence, regulate or enforce measures against;
- that the UK will be able to meet its obligations under a wide range of EU laws including tax, data protection and anti-money laundering laws;
- bilateral reciprocity in licensing, supplies and consumer protection issues with other EU territories who wish to participate (in an area lacking European agreement on the framework for cross-border supplies for online gambling).
Full details of our submitted evidence are available here
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