ukThe Gambling Commission of the UK is six years into a new approach that allows for online gambling. The UK's gambling laws received a complete overhaul courtesy of the European Union directives and market pressure from the inside. Politics also played a dominant role in the decision.

With the United States' gambling laws, there was a huge political response. The EU didn't wish to share the same fate. Until the new bill came through, the entire UK was completely outdated in terms of school of thought regarding gambling in the modern world.

When the new legislation was revealed to cover remote gambling, the buzz was instantly created. Since the internet is one of the world's largest markets, accessible by anyone with a connection, the EU saw massive opportunity.

Not only did the legislation cover online gambling, but also gambling from cellular phones and landlines, radio, TV, and any other electronic device. Any gaming that isn't at a “fixed” location is considered to be remote gambling, and the new legislation allowed for all of it.

The two main license types offered by the UK are remote gambling and non-remote gambling. A sports betting or horseracing venue would be required to apply and receive a non-remote license, and an online casino would seek the remote license. No single license covers all forms of gambling.

Recently, the UK and EU have set their sights and the gambling industry, working to implement stricter regulations. Many see the remote world as a perfect tool for terror funding and other criminal activities such as money laundering. Although the governing body is relatively new, they have taken swift action, putting severe laws in place to punish offenders with hefty fines and prison sentences.

Any corporation holding a license with the UK Gambling Commission must comply with the License Conditions and Code of Practice regulations in place. To ensure compliance, a regular inspection is carried out by UK and EU regulators. Detailed records of all transactions are kept and are looked over constantly.

Every gambling operator needs to apply for a company license. Also, senior managing officials and other prominent members of the company must hold individual licenses. To receive a license, the first step is determining which type you need.

The Gambling Commission is charged with keeping up with three main objectives: to ensure fairness in every game, to protect children and the vulnerable from exploitation, and keep criminal activity out of gambling completely. Applicants will be thoroughly screened to ensure they have no criminal background and that their advertising material is suitable and not aimed at children.

The license fees vary according to the nature of the gambling available and depend on the gross gambling yield. The fee structure is quite complex and full details are available on the website.

Corporation Tax Rate
Refer to the Treasury website

Gaming Tax Rate
Refer to the Treasury website

Minimum Share Capital for iGaming Company
Refer to the Treasury website

Security Requirements / Indemnity for Player Deposits
You can see the requirements for this under Licence Condition 4 Protection of customer funds (p10) of the Gambling Commission's Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).

Holders of remote licences are required to comply with the Remote Gambling and Software Technical Standards.

Licence Fee
Refer to the Treasury website

Licence Length
Refer to the Treasury website

Software Testing Requirements
As of 31 March 2008, the Commission has approved 11 test houses that are able to assess compliance with our technical standards.

Reporting Requirements to Regulators
The Commission requires a range of information from operators in order to monitor compliance with gambling legislation, regulations and licence conditions and codes of practice.

Anti-Money Laundering Policy
The Commission has produced guidance for casinos concerning their resposibilities under the Money Laundering Regulations, stating, among other things that all operators must establish and maintain appropriate policies and procedures relating to:
- customer due diligence measures and monitoring
- reporting
- record-keeping
- internal control
- risk assessment and management
- staff training

Country Restrictions
The Gambling Act 2005 contains a power for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to specify a country or place as a prohibited territory. Once specified, it will be a criminal offence to provide remote gambling services in that territory.

Contact Details
Gambling Commission, 4h Floor
Victoria House, Victoria Square
B2 4BP

Tel: +44 121 230 6666
Fax: +44 121 2331096

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