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The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 commencement date delayed following legal challenge

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United Kingdom

The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 (the "Act") was due to come into force on 1 October 2014, introducing changes to the gambling licensing regime in Great Britain with the intention of The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 (the "Act") was due to come into force on 1 October 2014, introducing changes to the gambling licensing regime in Great Britain with the intention of providing more consistent regulation for remote gambling operators offering services to consumers in Great Britain, including greater transparency and protection for consumers.

The Act changes the regulatory framework from "point of supply" (based on where an operator is located) to "point of consumption" (based on where the gambling is taking place). This in effect means that any remote gambling operators offering its services to consumers in Great Britain will need to hold an operating licence issued by the Gambling Commission.

Following a legal challenge issued by the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association ("GBGA") to the High Court of England and Wales, the commencement of the Act has been pushed back a month to 1 November 2014.

Whilst the Gambling Commision state that the new regime is for the benefit of consumers in Great Britain, the GBGA believes that these changes are to the contrary. The GBGA which represents several remote gambling operators based in Gibraltar that deliver services to consumers in Great Britain believes that the changes benefit the UK domestic gambling industry more than consumers and that under the new regime, the absence of enforcement powers and burdensome regulatory requirements of the Gambling Commission will encourge the growth of unregulated or poorly regulated operators.

Of real significance to remote operators, the delayed commencement also extends the period for advance applications for a continuation licence. Operators who are permitted to provide facilities for gambling in Great Britain (because they are permitted to do so in an EEA or white-listed jurisdiction, or Gibraltar) and who wish to continue to provide such services after the Act comes into force now have until midnight on 23 October 2014 to submit an application, together with the relevant application fee.

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