The implementation of Britain’s new gambling legislation has been postponed by one month to November 1st, 2014, after the High Court judge hearing the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association’s legal challenge said he would be unable to reach a verdict before the proposed October 1st implementation date.
The announcement was made by the Gambling Commission, which said that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will take the necessary steps to postpone the legislation until November 1st.
“This will allow a judgment to be made without undue time pressure,” the Gambling Commission noted.
The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) sought a judicial review of the new legislation, arguing that it breaches the right to free movement of services guaranteed by Article 56 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union.
The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 requires all remote gambling operators serving British consumers to be licensed by the Gambling Commission, and imposes a 15 per cent point of consumption tax.
The British government has said that the legislation is designed to increase consumer protection, however, the GBGA has warned that a lack of supervision and enforcement, and stringent regulatory requirements, will see players migrate to unregulated sites and become more vulnerable to fraud and addiction as a result.
The DCMS said Thursday that it continues to believe that the legislation will provide significant benefits to consumer protection, adding that the postponement will enable the judge to reach a decision without undue time pressure.
Commenting on the postponement, the GBGA said: “We welcome this extremely sensible step from the Government which at least holds the ring for a short period. It may be that they are beginning to understand the potential difficulties into which they have been put by the Gambling Commission in respect of this new licensing regime.”