Online gaming operator Mansion Group has been awarded a remote gambling licence from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) but will not use it to offer online poker to residents of the United Kingdom.
Mansion was once popular for poker in the UK thanks in part to its sponsorship of Tottenham Hotspur’s shirts and later becoming the official betting partner of Manchester City. It used to host its site on the Ongame Network before switching to the iPoker Network where its popularity with British players waned.
In September 2014, Mansion revealed it was no longer accepting new or allowing existing customers from the UK to use its online poker software. The management team of Mansion decided that the small revenue it received from players from the UK were not enough to pay the 15% Point of Consumption Tax and it withdrew. Players from the UK who attempt to visit the Mansion Poker site are greeted with a landing page suggesting they download Titanbet Poker instead.
The new UKGC licence allows Mansion to serve customers from the UK via its five casino brands, namely SlotsHeaven.com, Club777.com, Casino.com, LesACasino.com and MansionCasino.com.
Mansion’s Chief Executive, Sagi Lahav, said: “We’re delighted to be officially licensed by the UKGC, which is an important milestone in our strategy of acquiring gaming licences in key markets for the company.”
The Gibraltar-based company is looking to expend into the Italian market, which is itself heavily regulated. Lahav believes this extra regulation is a positive thing for the industry and even welcomes it.
“Despite the additional challenges that regulation poses, Mansion welcomes the additional security and transparency that this gives our players, further reinforcing Mansion's firm views and policies around player protection and responsible gaming. As such, this is extremely positive for both the Mansion Group and the wider industry.”
Remote, or offshore, gambling companies have had to pay a 15% Point of Consumption tax to the British Government since December 1, 2014. This means companies who are not based in the UK but take wagers from British nationals have to pay 15% tax on the revenue generated by those British players.
Some companies have continued to offer their services to British customers (some with reduced bonus or loyalty schemes) while others such as Winamax, PokerStars.fr, and PokerHeaven have ceased accepting wagers from British gamblers.