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The Department for Culture, Media and Sport annouces plans to regulate offshore gambling websites

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has announced plans to regulate offshore gambling websites. All gambling operators selling into the British market, whether from here or abroad, will soon be required to hold a Gambling Commission licence to enable them to transact with British consumers and to advertise in Great Britain.

The cost of the licence (yet to be determined) will be an extra source of revenue to the Exchequer from the gambling industry. At present, bingo pays 20% tax, online bingo 15% and an offshore bingo website 0%. If the offshore sites now have to pay a license fee, we hope that will enable excessive taxation on bingo to be reduced.

As well as bringing in revenue to the UK, the proposals are also to ensure that British consumers will enjoy consistent standards of protection, no matter which online gambling site they visit. For example, overseas operators will be required to inform the UK regulator about suspicious betting patterns to help fight illegal activity and corruption in sports betting. We welcome these changes.

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