GBGA issues challenge to UK government over new online legislation
The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association issued a letter to the UK Gambling Commission declaring its intentions to challenge its new Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014. The representative of Gibraltar's online gambling operators, instructed law firm Olswang to contact Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid, attorney general Dominic Grieve and the UK Gambling Commission in order to spell out its concerns over the Act.
The GBGA is arguing that the new law is 'unnecessary' and will open up the UK market to 'operators based anywhere in the world – some of whom will not obtain a license'.
“This is bad for UK consumers, bad for the regulated industry, bad for Gibraltar and is in breach of European law, but fantastic news for operators who choose to avoid proper regulation,” GBGA chief executive Peter Howitt sad.
“We know of no precedent where any regulator in any industry will be granted the role of licensing and regulating operators all over the world in this way, threatening to criminalise companies and people who fail to submit to its regime. This is plainly unworkable.
“The likely impact of this legislation will be to drive UK consumers towards unregulated or poorly regulated operators, leaving them exposed to unnecessary risks.
“This Act allows operators from 165 new jurisdictions to gain licences to operate and advertise in the UK and the Gambling Commission is supposed to regulate this industry with no extra-territorial information gathering or enforcement powers.”
Olswang partner Dan Tench said: “The measures introduced through this Act are neither reasonable nor proportionate to achieving that goal and are likely to have adverse consequences for consumers.
“All this Act achieves is a wholly unjustified, disproportionate and discriminatory interference with the right to free movement of services, a right enshrined in European Law. For these reasons the Government must reconsider this law or we shall have no option but to ask the courts to review it for them.”
Under the new Act, which was given Royal Assent by the British monarchy last month, all remote gambling operators in the UK market are required to obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission to allow them to transact with British customers and advertise in the UK.
SoloAzar / totallygaming