UK bookmaker William Hill has chosen compliance testing house NMi to test its full suite of online casino games to the requirements of the Gambling Commission following the recent implementation of the UK’s new point of consumption regime.
NMi is a long-standing partner of William Hill, having tested the majority of the bookmaker's Category B fixed odds betting terminals and games which are available for play in high street shops across the UK.
With a significant presence in the UK, William Hill said that NMi was well placed to give the Leeds-based operator the service they required.
“We appointed NMi based on the high level of professionalism and the in depth compliance knowledge that they were able to demonstrate,” said Shane Kelly, head of QA and Test for William Hill. “As a high profile organisation, we value partnerships with innovative organisations that can both complement and facilitate our business goals. This is a significant development and we look forward to a long standing relationship.”
William Hill’s required testing and auditing of its online casino games arises from the recently implemented Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act which came into effect on November 1st. Operators migrating from other regulated jurisdictions have 12 months to get content tested to UK standards.
Julian Borg-Barthet, business development manager for the NMi Gaming division, said: “We are delighted to be expanding the relationship with William Hill. Our lab prides itself on the level of service and knowledge that we offer.
“It is reassuring to see that our customers recognise NMi’s commitment to quality when deciding to consolidate service providers.”
The UK’s new point of consumption regime includes a parallel measure which means that all operators, irrespective of where it is physically based, will now be liable for a tax of 15 per cent of gross profits on business involving customers located in the UK.
This came into force yesterday (December 1st) and is expected to raise tax revenues of around £300m per year for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
“The new rules will provide a fairer tax system for all gambling operators,” said Priti Patel, Exchequer Secretary to the UK Treasury. “Those businesses that moved their operations abroad to avoid paying UK taxes will now have to pay their fair share of tax.
“The Government has created a level playing field across the gambling industry so that all gambling by UK consumers is now subject to UK tax.”
Sally Beggs, deputy director of gambling taxes for HMRC, added: “With the gambling industry becoming more international and internet focused, so the rules need to change. HMRC will support this with appropriate and robust enforcement activity. If your business is affected and you haven’t yet registered, you need to do so as quickly as possible.”
The Remote Gambling Association (RGA), the iGaming industry association, said that the economic impact of this change on the industry was significant.
“In practice it marks a huge increase in the cost of doing business in the British market and it would not be a surprise to see operators reviewing their investment plans and marketing strategies,” said RGA CEO Clive Hawkswood. “As we have said before, this is a challenging time for the industry and we will continue to engage with Treasury to ensure the impact of the tax changes is fully understood by the Government.”
The RGA continues to argue that any rate above 10 per cent GPT (gross profit tax) is not sustainable in “what is a very mature market where consumers already know what level of value and choice to expect.”
“However, it would be unrealistic to expect HM Treasury to review the rates until the new regime has had a chance to bed in properly. In the meantime we remain hopeful that continued growth in the market, both in the UK and internationally, will go at least some way to offsetting this new tax burden,” he said.