Remote gambling

Types

Is remote gambling permitted and, if so, what types?

All types of remote gambling on any device (including online and mobile) are permitted, subject to the operator holding a remote operating licence from the Commission.

Licensing

What are the criteria for obtaining a licence to operate remote gambling?

Operating licence applications must be submitted using the Commission’s online application system. The Commission determines operating licence applications on the basis of the suitability of the applicant to carry out the licensed activities and whether it will uphold the licensing objectives.

When considering the suitability of the applicant the Commission considers the following:

  • identity and ownership - the applicant company’s identity and the identity of other people relevant to the application including the ultimate beneficial owners;
  • finances - financial and other circumstances, past and present, of the applicant and of people relevant to the application. This includes consideration of the resources available to carry out the licensed activities;
  • integrity - the applicant’s honesty and trustworthiness and that of people relevant to the application;
  • competence - the applicant’s experience, expertise, qualifications and history and that of people relevant to the application; and
  • criminality - the applicant’s criminal record (if any) and that of people relevant to the application.

The Commission will also consider the applicant’s policies and procedures for ensuring that the licensing objectives will be adhered to, its understanding of the relevant legislation and evidence that the applicant’s arrangements will meet social responsibility requirements.

How do the licensing criteria for remote gambling operators differ from those applicable to land-based operators?

There is no limit on the number of remote gambling licences. The Commission’s criteria for determining applications for remote operating licences are the same as for land-based operating licences.

Cross-border gambling

May operators located in other countries offer internet gambling to consumers in your jurisdiction without obtaining a licence there?

Operators located in other countries may not offer online gambling to consumers located in Great Britain without obtaining an operating licence from the Commission.

May operators licensed in your jurisdiction offer internet gambling to consumers in other countries?

The legislation is silent on whether operators licensed by the Commission may offer online gambling to consumers located in other countries, it is neither expressly permitted nor is it prohibited. However, the Commission expects operators to assess the legality of their activities in other jurisdictions and they are required to inform the Commission if:

  • a group company is advertising remote gambling facilities in a new jurisdiction; or
  • they begin generating revenue, in a sustained or meaningful way, that equals 3 per cent or more of the group’s revenue (or 10 per cent or more for operators with total revenue under £5 million a year) from a given jurisdiction.
Taxes

What tax rate applies to each form of remote gambling?

Remote gambling duty is based on revenue from customers whose usual place of residence is in the United Kingdom only.

Casinos

Remote gaming duty based on gross gaming revenues is 21 per cent.

Bingo

Bingo duty based on percentage of bingo promotion profits is 10 per cent.

Betting

General betting duty based on percentage of ‘net stake receipts’:

  • for fixed odds bets, totalisator bets on horse or dog races and bets taken on betting exchanges: 15 per cent;
  • for financial spread bets: 3 per cent; and
  • for all other spread bets: 10 per cent.

Pool betting duty based on percentage of bookmaker’s profits from bets that are not at fixed odds and are not on horse or dog racing is 15 per cent.

Lottery

Lottery duty based on percentage of the price paid or payable on taking a ticket or chance in a lottery is 12 per cent.