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Under the Gambling Act 2005, an operating licence from the Gambling Commission is only required if at least one piece of remote gambling equipment is located in Great Britain. Remote gambling operators who locate all of their equipment offshore do not need a licence and are not subject to the regulatory supervision of the Commission, whether or not their remote gambling facilities are used by British customers. The 2005 Act does, however, prohibit overseas operators from advertising in Britain unless they are situated within the EEA (including Gibraltar), or in Antigua & Barbuda, the Isle of Man, or the States of Alderney and Tasmania (the “white listed” countries).

The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill is a short Bill that would amend the 2005 Act so that all remote gambling operators would be required to obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission to enable them to transact with British customers and advertise in Britain. The Government believes this will increase protection for British customers as remote operators would be subject to consistent regulation and required to:

• support action against illegal activity and corruption in sport

• contribute to research, education and treatment in relation to British problem gambling

• comply with licence conditions that protect children and vulnerable adults

Although Labour is supportive of the Bill, during Committee, the Shadow Minister for Sport, Clive Efford, tabled a number of new clauses on issues such as advertising, Internet Protocol (IP) and financial transaction blocking, problem gambling, spread betting, dormant betting accounts, and the horse race betting levy.

None of the new clauses were agreed to and the Bill was reported without amendment.

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