The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) continue to oppose the UK Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, which will charge UK citizens a 15 percent Point of Consumption (POC) tax on their gambling transactions for playing at overseas online casinos.
Last week, the GBGA officially filed a case against the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 stating that this will pose genuine risks to the consumer. The GBGA argues that the law will push consumers to seek alternative methods of online gambling overseas in the form of poorly regulated establishments in an effort to avoid the hefty tax.
While the UK Gambling Commission is still resolute that the act will protect UK consumers, one can’t help but be sceptical of these assumptions. If pressured by heavy tax in an industry where players are constantly seeking better odds and opportunities at winning, they could be more likely to take greater risks to avoid 15 percent of their personal, recreational spend going into government coffers without any real benefit to themselves.
Peter Howitt, chief executive of the GBGA believes that the new law has been passed for economic gain and will give local operators a competitive advantage over their overseas rivals. He describes this as unlawful and illegitimate.
Gambling giant William Hill feels it “inappropriate” to partake in the legal battle with the GBGA given its close relationship with the UK Government. William Hill, valued at £4.07bln in 2013, is one of the largest bookmakers in the UK also offering UK players an online casino, online bingo and online poker.
Both parties have strong arguments however the fact that the act has already received final Royal Assent from the queen, makes the case that much more difficult for the GBGA and all interested international parties to fight against. One thing is for certain, if the act is passed this regime change regarding gambling in the UK will be met with many a disgruntled consumer.