Offshore Online Casinos to Require New UK Licences

Remote gaming operators offering casino, bingo and betting services to UK customers will need to hold a licence approved by the Gambling Commission under the terms outlined in the draft Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Bill.

The new draft of the Gambling Bill was published earlier this week, and incorporates measures to tackle problem gambling, corruption and illegal activity.

Its imposition of UK-based licensing requirements on operators is a key element in this, and will apply to both UK-based operators and those based overseas who offer services to British citizens.

Philip Graf, chairman of the Gambling Commission, has already welcomed the move.

He claims that less than a fifth of the online gambling that takes place in the UK is currently regulated by the Commission.

On top of this, the Commission has no powers at present to investigate suspicious betting activity that takes place via websites hosted overseas.

Hugh Robertson, minister for sport and tourism, adds that British online gamblers should receive a more consistent level of protection under the terms of the Bill.

The Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Bill must now undergo parliamentary scrutiny by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, with a view to introducing it into law during the third session of Parliament.

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