International edition
September 19, 2020

John Penrose, UK Minister responsible for gambling policy and regulation

“Remote gambling should be regulated at the ‘point of consumption’ and not the ‘point of supply’”

(UK, exclusive Yogonet.com).- John Penrose, UK Minister responsible for gambling policy, granted an interview to Yogonet.com in which he explains his proposal for a new regulation environment in the country, according to which all gambling operators selling into the British market will have to obtain a license from the Gambling Commission, no matter if they are based in the UK or abroad.

W

hy did you decide to make a proposal for a new remote gambling regulation?
These proposals are designed to increase consumer protection, and help to address concerns about problem gambling and underage play. They will also create a level playing field ensuring consistent standards for all online gambling operators that want to interact with British consumers.

How does the current system work?
At the moment, the only firms that need a UK gambling licence are ones that are physically based here. That means anyone else can sell gambling services to British punters, who will be far less protected from illegal or dangerous gaming as a result. The only limits on overseas firms are a general ban on advertising in the UK, unless they are based within the EEA, Gibraltar or one of the trusted white-listed jurisdictions – Antigua & Barbuda, the Isle of Man, the States of Alderney and Tasmania.

Given the way internet gambling is expanding, this clearly isn’t safe for British punters so in future firms outside Britain will need a Gambling Commission licence to trade here.

What changes will be introduced by the government to improve it?
The current system will be replaced so that remote gambling is regulated at the ‘point of consumption’ and not the ‘point of supply.’ All gambling operators selling into the British market- whether based in the UK or abroad- will have to obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission.

What will be the Gambling Commission’s new role?
The Gambling Commission’s role as the regulator for commercial gambling in Great Britain will remain, and will be extended to cover all overseas-based operators who interact with British consumers.

How will this new regulation system benefit the government?
As I’ve mentioned these proposals are about protecting consumers, and addressing concerns about underage play and problem gambling.

It has been said that this measure is a player protection scheme, why?
All operators selling into the British market, whether from here or abroad, will be required to hold a Gambling Commission licence to enable them to trade with British punters and to advertise in Great Britain.  This will make all operators selling into the British market subject to robust and consistent regulation, increasing protection for British consumers.

These proposals are an important measure to help address concerns about problem gambling and to bridge a regulatory gap, by ensuring that British consumers will enjoy consistent standards of protection, no matter which Gambling Commission-licensed online gambling site they visit.

What are the next steps that will make this proposal come into force?
We’ll be working with the Gambling Commission and other interested parties to develop the new arrangements for the licensing system which will require changes to primary legislation.

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