The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain. Online gambling in the UK is regulated by the Gambling Act 2005. From 1 November 2014, further to the implementation of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, if a company provides remote gambling in Great Britain and any part of its remote gambling equipment is based in Great Britain or advertises gambling to consumers in Great Britain, the same has to apply for a remote gaming license from the UKGC.
The Gambling Act 2005 maintains the distinctions between gaming, betting, and participation in a lottery and in certain aspects continues to regulate each of them differently. The Gambling Act of 2005 provides a structure for the regulation of online gambling, which is defined as gambling in which people participate by using “remote communication”.
The UK licensing regime allows a gambling software license (which might also require an operational license) and an operational license. The remote operating licenses for each type of gambling activity include:
- Casino Games
- Gaming Machines
- Gambling Software
Provided an operator has the appropriate corporate structure, the same shall not be required to apply for multiple licenses for the different operations that it offers.
Following the implementation of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 operators providing facilities for gambling to British customers who currently do so in reliance on their EEA or White List jurisdiction licenses or other permissions will be subject to the Gambling Act’s licensing regime for the first time. Under transitional provisions, such operators who make “advanced applications” for appropriate Gambling Commission licenses will be granted a “continuation license.
Personal licenses are required by those performing specified management or operational function, as well as by shareholders having 10% or more interest in the applicant company for a license.
The gaming tax regime in the UK is based on a “point of consumption” approach. This means that the person making the bet does so while present at a place in the UK where betting facilities are provided in the course of a business and the bet is made using those facilities. Also, the person who makes the bet as principal is a UK person, and the bet is not an excluded bet. A UK person is defined as “an individual who usually lives in the United Kingdom, or a body corporate which is legally constituted in the United Kingdom”.
The gaming tax in the UK equals 15% of the gross gaming revenue which is the difference between the sum of the bets received for the participation in the game, less the winnings that have been paid out to the players. Also, remote betting is taxed at 15% of gross profits, which is, bets minus wins.
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