Officials in the United Kingdom have been working to revamp the country’s gambling laws for years. This week, Labour Party leader Tom Watson is demanding that UK online casinos reapply for their gaming licenses. It’s a tough move for online gambling companies that are operating here and abiding by all the laws.
Regulations on the UK’s gambling industry continue to increase. Today, we’re going to be explaining why Tom Watson wants these companies to reapply for their licenses. Later, we’ll talk about whether or not this law will be passed.
Gambling Addiction Continues to Rise in the UK
Back in 2005, the UK passed the Gambling Act. This helped to create the country’s Gambling Commission and opened the doors for foreign gaming companies to legally operate here. Fast-forward to 2019, and the United Kingdom now has the largest online gambling market in the world.
Of course, the huge rise in gambling here has also led to a significant increase in gambling addiction. Problem gambling is now seen as a major issue in the UK, and lawmakers have been actively working to reduce the number of gaming addicts spread around the country. UK online casinos face new restrictions every single month.
Back in February, the Gambling Commission here announced a number of new gambling advertisement regulations. Later that month, this group announced they were considering a ban on credit cards for gambling. Lawmakers in the UK took things a step further this past April.
The government announced a “National Strategy” to combat the issue of gambling addiction. Officials here are conducting a study on how gambling operators in the country help those with gaming issues.
Tom Watson Calling for UK Online Casinos to Reapply for Their Gaming Licenses
Tom Watson is one of the most vocal critics of the gambling industry. He helped pass a ban on gambling advertisements for sports teams a few years ago and has called for new restrictions on all online casino companies in the UK. This week, Watson began pushing for UK online casinos to reapply for their licenses in order to legally operate.
This comes just a week after four major gaming companies here were fined for not abiding by the new gambling regulations set in place. He is contacting members of the Gaming Commission in an attempt to further regulate this massive industry. Watson cites a recent report claiming nearly 35% of all online gambling companies here are not protecting their players from gambling addiction.
“This review would be an opportunity for existing remote license-holders to reapply for the privilege of operating and marketing in the UK,”
he recently stated on his social media accounts.
“We need checks on their financial probity, the identity, and character of their owners, the contributions they make to the research, education, and treatment of problem gambling, the partnerships they have with our sports clubs, and any recent breaches of license conditions.”
It’s important to note that the Labour Party may soon become the UK’s leading government group. The UK is still working to agree on Brexit terms, which is likely to have its own impact on this country’s gambling industry.
What to Expect Over the Next Few Months
The future of the UK’s online gambling industry is very unclear. This market brings in millions of dollars to the government every single month. It’s an extremely lucrative industry that many lawmakers here want to protect.
There’s no doubt that gambling addiction is a serious issue throughout the United Kingdom. According to The Guardian, a 2017 report showed that the number of problem gamblers in this country exceeds 400,000 people. The “National Strategy” shows that the government is working to come up with a way to change this.
Forcing UK online casinos to reapply for their gaming license doesn’t seem to be the most logical option. A number of these companies have followed all of the new regulations set in place. Punishing these companies without a reason to do so sets a very bad precedent.
It’s likely that a number of new regulations are going to be set in place. Perhaps in time, any companies caught breaking the rules here will be forced to leave the market.
Do you think Tom Watson’s plan make sense? How would this affect the UK’s online gambling industry? Let us know in the comment section below.
A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack. ...
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