Online gambling laws are essential; without them, you would never know if a random number generator was truly random and casino operators could rip you off with impunity.
Since gambling was legalised in the UK in the 1960s, the laws have been in a constant state of change. Here are 5 online gambling laws we have or have had in the UK which you might not have heard of.
1. The Point of Consumption Tax
You’ve probably heard of casino operators basing their casinos “offshore” in order to avoid paying taxes to the UK government. This is one of the reasons you see casinos operating out of tiny countries such as Malta or Gibraltar.
Did you know that the UK government has taken measures to close up this loophole? According to CasinoGuide.co.uk, in 2004, the UK government introduced a “point of consumption” tax. This tax meant that casino operators were obligated to pay the UK tax rate if the player placing a bet was located within the UK.
2. Bonus offer crackdown
The UK Gambling Commission recently started a crackdown on casino bonus wagering regulations. Casino operators are now finding it harder to get away with making confusing bonus offers.
One of the main things the crackdown has addressed is bonus offers that have a wagering requirement. Many casino operators used to hide the terms and conditions or make them deliberately difficult to understand.
The UK Gambling Commission responded to this by issuing heavy fines. Due to these fines, many casino operators in the UK are no longer doing bonus offers that are subject to a wagering requirement.
3. No advertising to children
The authorities in the UK have also cracked down heavily on advertising any kind of gambling to children. Casino operators were ordered to remove adverts that used cartoon characters, which might appeal to children.
Many of the games advertised not only featured appealing cartoon characters, but they were also free to play. Casino operators were accused of trying to get kids hooked on gambling early on.
Despite regulations in the UK, it has been estimated that around 450,000 children gamble every week.
4. Gambling tax for players
There’s a good reason why you haven’t heard of a tax on UK players. It’s because those laws were abolished years ago. In the past, players would have a tax levied against them as part of every gambling transaction. When placing a bet, players would have a choice: either they would pay the tax on their initial stake or they would have their winnings taxed instead.
Thankfully, this tax was abolished completely in order to keep UK operators competitive on an international scale. Now things couldn’t be any easier for players; you simply never have to pay any tax on anything related to gambling.
5. UK whitelist
In order to do business in the UK, all operators need to have a license issued by the UK Gambling Commission. But there are some exceptions to this rule.
The UK Gambling Commission has a whitelist containing a number of jurisdictions. They have determined that the licensing conditions for these territories live up to the UK standard. The whitelist includes countries such as any European Economic Area country, Gibraltar, and the Isle of Man. In order to be accepted onto this whitelist, there is a rigorous vetting process.
The law is on the player’s side
As you can see, the laws are generally quite good for the average player. Casino operators are probably not huge fans of some of the regulations they need to abide by. But as a player, you have very little to worry about. You don’t even have to pay any tax on your winnings!