Will United Kingdom Oust Foreign Online Gambling Competition?
After a long debacle that finally ended in the UK’s online gambling famed ‘White List’ of acceptable licensing jurisdictions, it looks like Britain may be doing a complete 180 by refusing licenses to any online gambling operator located outside the country’s borders.
A report by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary for Culture, Media, Olympics and Sports, was just released in which he relayed a desire to curb local youth gambling addictions by reducing the number of online gambling advertisements in the region. His method of reductions calls for eliminating advertisements from online gambling sites based outside of Britain.
Such a move could have a devastating impact on internet casino, poker, bingo and sports betting operators who depend majorly on the European market. Hundreds of online gambling sites would be effected, perhaps enough to actually oust some competitors from the industry altogether.
“Ministers are concerned about the explosion of internet gambling advertising since Labour relaxed the gambling laws,” a senior government source was quoted yesterday in the Daily Mail. “Changes the Government want to make would help protect the public from gambling companies that don’t meet UK standards but have been allowed to profit from Labour’s lax approach to internet gambling.”
Experts in Britain have estimated that one million underage individuals are addicted to gambling, putting the blame predominantly on the shoulders of Labour’s lax gambling laws. Analysts believe that the constant appearance of advertisements for casinos, poker rooms, bookmakers and other betting avenues, especially on television, have drawn children into an addictive problem that cannot be resolved without diminishing the presentation of gambling ads.
Any online gambling site licensed by the UK Gambling Commission is required to enforce strict policies to thwart underage gambling, but operators licensed outside of the UK are not held to the same stringent regulations. Thus it only makes sense that eliminating online gambling operators headquartered (and licensed) outside of the United Kingdom would greatly decrease the addictive issues of underage gambling in Britain.
Some would argue that the decision is too harsh and that a more economical solution should be reached. A revision of the Gambling Commission’s ‘White List’ could certainly do the trick. Chances are, if given the options of implementing more austere methods of underage detection or losing all UK based commerce, most authoritative licensing jurisdictions would chose the first option, maintaining their government’s revenue at the mere cost of protecting children around the world.