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UK may introduce 'white list' advertising licensing for offshore operators

The Daily Mail story earlier this week that the British government is about to take action on 'white list' advertising in the UK has been followed by a Guardian article revealing that the moves could come sooner than most think.

Earlier this week a government source told The Daily Mail's political editor that offshore internet gambling companies that did not pay Brit taxes or license fees and levies but advertised to British punters could become the subject of new laws requiring them to meet the standards of the UK Gambling Commission and take out British licenses.

The Guardian story does not specify its source, but claims that an initiative to insist on offshore internet companies being licensed if they wish to access the British market could come about within the next two months, around the end of March 2011.

It's a tactic that the previous Labour government threatened to deploy a year or more ago, and one that will additionally impact essentially British internet companies, or divisions of companies, that left UK shores to domicile in more tax-friendly jurisdictions like Gibraltar.

The Guardian claims that the licensing proposals will require all operators active in the British market to comply with the Gambling Act and report suspicious betting activity to the commission and sport governing bodies.

Operators will also have to comply with British licence requirements, including the protection of children, and demonstrate how they will contribute to the research, education and treatment of problem gambling in Britain.

Some in the gambling industry have previously indicated it may accept licensing proposals but would oppose any attempt to make offshore operators pay the Levy, a controversial subsidisation contribution to British horseracing paid by land bookie firms.

"It is believed the government will endorse the licensing proposals of the previous sports minister but doubt remains over how to enforce any subsequent attempt to force offshore operators to pay tax and the Levy on UK bets," The Guardian article concludes.

"It has been suggested that bookmakers offering bets in the UK could be forbidden from advertising here and their websites blocked if they were not licensed."

Source: InfoPowa News

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