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October 17, 2014
Due to the pending of Gibraltar court challenge of the UK law, the new online gambling licensing changes will be delayed for a month. On the site of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) it was announce on Thursday that the supposed implementation of the Gambling Act of 2014 (Licensing and Advertising) would take place not on October, 1st, but on November, 1st, so as the judgment could be done without the time pressure taking into the account the changes.
All the UK online casino operators should take wagers from and offer their services to the UK gamblers only with the license from UKGC according to the new laws. From December, 1st, all of these operators will be asked to pay 15% point of consumption tax on all the bets put by the UK gamblers. But the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) has denied such claims blaming the UK in the desire to get some additional income motivating this with the desire to protect the consumers. And this is totally forbidden in the EU trade laws.
The GBGA has opened a legal case against the UK High Court. During the two days of hearing the GBGA accused the UK of being “disincentive to companies” as they proceed to have their operations under the jurisdiction of Gibraltar, Aldemey, Antigua and the Isle of Man. The GBGA explained that not the desire to protect the customers stimulated the operators, but all the extra payments put on the operators will be put on the customers and this will stimulate the latters to find other operators not licensed in the UK. This will defeat all the stated rationale due to the new laws.
During the second day of hearings the UK lawyers rejected the right of Gibraltar to claim injury. They motivated this with the fact that EU trade edicts could not be used in trading between Gibraltar and the UK. The UK explained that the received costs “could easily be absorbed” and the GBDGA’s claims could be put aside because there is much more gaming associations that would like to proceed with their work as they did before.
The further negotiations with Lord Justice Green came to the conclusion that the Court would not be able to get a consensus before Wednesday, which was the presupposed time for the new law implementation. The GBGA asked the court to put the delay on the implementation, but this was rejected. The next day the Department of Culture, Media and Sport informed about the implementation the next day. The spokesperson of GBGA informed the eGaming Review that the delay was necessary as they began to realize all the hardships that UKGC would have to struggle. The legal changes were offered by some of the operators that wanted to leave the UK market long before October, 1st.