The UK Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill, which will require all online gaming operators to be licensed by the Gambling Commission, received final parliamentary approval Tuesday, including an amendment to extend the statutory Horserace Betting Levy to all licensed bookmakers.

The Levy amendment introduced by Lord Gardiner of Kimble follows an earlier unsuccessful attempt to amend the legislation to make levy contributions mandatory for all licensed bookmakers.

The agreed amendment states that bookmakers by whom the levy under section 27 of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 is payable will include bookmakers who are required to hold a remote operating licence. It also ensures that the Secretary of State has power to "make all the changes that may be necessary to secure extension of the levy to offshore bookmakers".

This is in response to concerns that the levy could fall foul of European law, with Lord Kimble confirming that the government will begin levy discussions with the European Commission as early as this Friday.

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