UK Online Casinos Affected by New Law

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UK residents who play regularly at online casinos are starting to receive emails and other notices letting them know that many online casino are shutting down. These notices are directing the customers to different casinos, and all this is happening in light of new laws being implemented within the UK.

The new law and its effect on UK online casinos will be covered here.

In 2013, the UK Parliament proposed the Gambling and Licensing Bill. The purpose of the bill was to drastically change the online gambling landscape. The most notable change was in the regulation of online gaming. The biggest of all these changes was the directive that all casino operators within the UK or serving UK customers would have to apply for a license from the British government. In May 2104, this law was passed by royal consent, and it was labeled the Gambling Act 2014.

The law didn’t go into effect completely until a few months later, which is why the repercussions of it are just now starting to become evident. The original date for the law’s enforcement was set to be October 1st of 2014. But the territory of Gibraltar issued a challenge to that law, and the parliament pushed the law’s true effect back until November 1st of the same year. This was to give online casino operators time to organize themselves and ensure they were meeting the guidelines set by the law.

Starting in December, all bets placed by UK players would require a 15% tax. This tax was to be shouldered entirely by the operators and not by the customers. This major tax hike has resulted in many online casino operators choosing not to apply for UK licenses. This would mean that they could not legally serve UK consumers. It also caused a few operators to pull out of the UK entirely, choosing rather to do business where the tax rates were not so high.

What this has done to many consumers who gamble online is caused them to find other online casinos to use. Many casino operators are closing their doors entirely to UK players or directing them to different sites altogether- usually sites that are part of their family of sites.

Some of the biggest names in online gambling quickly applied for their licenses. This includes Betway casino and PlayTech. They will attempt to run their businesses in the same way they always have, simply using the new laws to direct their dealings. Their plans are to continue to serve their UK-based customers in the same way they did before.

But they are a minority, and most online operators have chosen to take their business to other countries. Major companies like The Palace Group and Spin Palace Casino have dropped some of their sites and begun redirecting consumers to new operators. Some of the smaller companies have actually joined with one another in a partnership to help shoulder the burden the new laws placed on them. This has allowed them to comply with the UK laws while still making a profit within the country.

The less fortunate gaming sites have had to redirect their consumers to sites that they do not own. These include the Vegas Partner Lounge, which closed its UK side of business and asked its clients to move on to Roxy Palace, which it does not own.

What this means for players is that their options within the UK for online gambling are diminishing. New sites may start to pop up to take the place of those that have left, seeing as there is less competition to deal with, but that will take time, and for now the choices players have are limited. For many players, the best option is to follow the redirection given by their favorite casinos, as they will likely enjoy similar games and services compared to what they had on their old sites.

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