The UK Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 was set to come into effect on October 1, but has postponed for one month due to the High Court challenge from the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA).
The GBGA says the new act is “unlawful because it is an illegitimate, disproportionate and discriminatory interference with the right to free movement of services guaranteed by Article 56 TFEU, and is irrational.”
Lord Justice Green of the High Court heard arguments from the GBGA and the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) this week and stated that a decision would not be made before October 1.
The DCMS released a statement on Thursday in response to the delay, saying: “We remain fully confident of our case, and of the significant benefits to consumer protection that the Act will bring. However, to allow the judge to reach his judgement without under time pressure we will be taking the necessary steps to postpone the Act coming into force for one month.”
PokerStars, who earlier in this week revealed that players from the UK would be forced to switch their accounts to a new PokerStars UK platform, has updated its “UK license information and FAQ” pages to reflect the postponement of the new law, informing customers that the migration to the UK platform will not take place until November 1.
The new act requires all operators not based in the United Kingdom hold a gambling license issued by the UK if they want to continue offering their services to players from the UK. As part of the license, offshore or remote operators have to pay 15% tax on all profits derived from UK-based customers.
Licenses do not come cheap, weighing in at £19,500 or more to purchase and then there is the annual fee of around £118,000. These additional costs and the impeding 15% point of consumption tax have forced the likes of Mansion Poker, PokerStars.fr and Winamax from the UK market.