Following a review of the current system of remote gambling regulation in Britain, the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), together with the Gambling Commission, has launched a consultation process on the feasibility of introducing a licensing system for overseas remote gambling operators wishing to target the British market.

The DCMS said that there was a clear need to look again at the system of remote gambling regulation, in order to address concerns raised by Parliamentarians and others as to whether the current system affords adequate protection to British consumers, given that an increasing number of remote gambling operators are regulated offshore.

The DCMS highlighted a number of issues with the current system which give cause for concern. It said that overseas operators are not currently compelled to provide certain information, such as on suspicious betting activity, to the UK Gambling Commission, even when such activity involves British sports or British consumers. It also noted that overseas licensed operators are not obliged to contribute towards research, education and treatment of problem gambling in Britain.

Another issue raised by the DCMS is the recent trend within Europe towards individual approaches to regulation by member states including national licensing regimes, as well as an increasingly global market with an unclear landscape.

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