The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain. Online gambling in the UK is regulated by the Gambling Act 2005. From 1 November 2014, further to the implementation of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, if a company provides remote gambling in Great Britain and any part of its remote gambling equipment is based in Great Britain or advertises gambling to consumers in Great Britain, the same has to apply for a remote gaming licence from the UKGC.
The Gambling Act 2005 maintains the distinctions between gaming, betting, and the participation in a lottery and in certain aspects continues to regulate each of them differently. The Gambling Act 2005 provides a structure for the regulation of online gambling, which is defined as gambling in which people participate by using “remote communication”.
The UK licensing regime allows a gambling software licence (which might also require an operational licence) and an operational licence. The remote operating licences for each type of gambling activity include:
- Casino Games
- Gaming Machines
- Gambling Software
Provided an operator has the appropriate corporate structure, the same shall not be required to apply for multiple licences for the different operations that it offers.
Following implementation of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 operators providing facilities for gambling to British customers who currently do so in reliance on their EEA or White List jurisdiction licences or other permissions will be subject to the Gambling Act’s licencing regime for the first time. Under transitional provisions, such operators who make “advance applications” for appropriate Gambling Commission licences will be granted a “continuation licence.
Personal licences are required by those performing a specified management or operational function, as well as by shareholders having 10% or more interest in the applicant company for a licence.
The gaming tax regime in the UK is based on a “point of consumption” approach. This means that the person making the bet does so while present at a place in the UK where betting facilities are provided in the course of a business and the bet is made using those facilities. Also, the person who makes the bet as principal is a UK person, and the bet is not an excluded bet. A UK person is defined as "an individual who usually lives in the United Kingdom, or a body corporate which is legally constituted in the United Kingdom".
The gaming tax in the UK equals to 15% of the gross gaming revenue which is the difference between the sum of the bets received for the participation in the game, less the winnings that have been paid out to the players. Also, remote betting is taxed at 15% of gross profits, which is, bets minus wins.
Intention to raise the rate of Remote Gaming Duty (RGD) to 21% from 1 October 2019 is being announced at Budget 2018 to give remote gaming operators sufficient advance notice of the increase.
In order to be able to obtain a remote gambling licence in the UK, one needs to undertake a licensing process through the UK Gambling Commission and provide due diligence information and documentation in line with the Anti Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism legislation. Documentation includes proof of identity as well as other supporting documents relating to the business structure and set up.
· Key Equipment - it must be located in jurisdiction where gambling is permitted and local DPA laws must allow data to be transferred to UK GC
· UK contact person & correspondence address must be in place
· Company can be in EU
· Financial statements to confirm good standing and liquidity of UBO for the past 5 years.
· (PML) - 5 employees that will apply for the Personal Management Licenses in charge for:
1. Overall Strategy 2. Finances 3. Marketing 4. Regulatory Compliance 5. IT
(these employees/UBO must be approved by the Gambling Commission and must be familiar with the UK regulations).
· Gaming tax report to be submitted quarterly.
· Regulatory Return Report to be submitted quarterly to the UK GC.
Fees – UK Gambling Commission
Application and annual fees depend on the type of operating licence required. Application fees are payable upon submission of application, whilst annual fees are due 30 days after the licence is issued, and every year thereinafter.