British internet service providers (ISPs) have rejected the government’s plans to block access to unlicensed offshore gambling websites by refusing requests by the Gambling Commission to add pop-up warnings that the sites are unregulated.
The Gambling Commission has already met with broadband providers to investigate how best to insert “warning pages” and pop-ups on unlicensed gambling websites. However, companies are refusing to display these pages and warnings, and demand either a court order or primary legislation to enact such a move. This move by the Gambling Commission is no doubt another attempt to crack down on offshore gambling operators that operate illegally in the UK. Currently only UK-based betting companies need to hold a licence in order to serve UK gamblers, but that is set to change.
While the Gambling Commission regulates commercial gambling in Great Britain, it has no jurisdiction over offshore websites that can be easily accessed online. The aim of this new bill is to license all gaming companies that provide a service to players living in the UK. The talks with ISPs arose when it was announced that the legislation governing tax regimes for online gambling will be amended to include an increased tax rate and a tax rate for all offshore operators.