Today (8 April), the Gambling Commission published an updated version of its FAQs, providing updated guidance to the industry in relation to a variety of questions that both we, and the industry generally, have been asking. One key aspect that is addressed is the Commission’s requirements in relation to “grey markets”.
As part of the business plan required to be lodged by all applicants, they need to explain to the Commission their rationales for taking business from, or targeting, jurisdictions in which they do not possess a licence and that account for over 3% of their total revenue (or 10% if total revenue is less than £5 million). The Commission has made it clear that the total revenue figure applies to the applicant entity and not its wider group.
The rationales put forward by applicants must demonstrate to the Commission that the provision of gambling services to a particular jurisdiction is not illegal, either because the applicant holds a licence or they have satisfied themselves (based on legal advice) that it is not illegal to provide such gambling services into the territory. However, for those jurisdictions that fall under the 3% (or 10%) threshold, the applicant does not need to provide a rationale for each jurisdiction, but it does need to inform the Commission of the procedures and processes it has in place in order to assess the applicability and enforceability of the local laws. To the extent there are no arguments to support continued supply, the Commission would expect certain measures to be put in place in order to block access by residents of that territory.
The updated FAQs can be accessed here.