GBGA Set To Challenge New UK Gambling Law
The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) is set to challenge the new UK Gambling Laws after it officially filed a legal challenge with the High Court this week.
The act, which the GBGA says is unlawful because it’s an illegitimate, disproportionate and discriminatory interference with the right to free movement of services guaranteed by the Article 56 TFEU, might give an unfair competitive advantage to operators from the United Kingdom. The new regulations appear to have been written up for economic reasons as opposed to, what UK regulators have said, will protect consumers, according to sources within the GBGA.
The new licensing regulations, which are set to come into effect by the 1st of October, will mean that any firm that wishes to promote their services and accept wagers in the United Kingdom, will need to hold a license from the UK Gambling Commission. A move that may make redundant the other licenses issued by other regulated jurisdictions, similar to those found in Gibraltar.
The new regulations set to be put into place will, according to Peter Howitt, Chief executive of the GBGA, only benefit the UK domestic industry and the Gambling Commission itself which has: “persuaded the UK Government that it should be the global regulator of this high-tech and complex industry”.
He went on to add that the UK government “has neither the resources, the legal powers, nor the skills to operate successfully across the globe. This is bad news for consumers and for international competition. We have an effective and knowledgeable regulator in Gibraltar” and “that the Gambling commission believes it is better placed to regulate the industry here is laughable. We are determined to fight against measures that actually undermine consumer protection”.
In its submission to the High Court of England and Wales, the GBGA said: “The absence of effective supervision and enforcement, coupled with the burdensome regulatory requirements, will encourage the growth and migration to unregulated or poorly regulated operators which will present genuine risks to the British consumer”.
The hearing with the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association was due to begin in late October or early November but due to the mandated imposition of the new licensing regime set to begin on the 1st of October, the GBGA is looking for an expedited hearing.
As steadfast as they are, few commentators expect the GBGA to win its bid to halt or remove the new regulations and any appeals made further up the EU legal chain could drag out for many years.
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