By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
The British government announced Wednesday that it plans to require any online gambling site that wishes to service its citizens to obtain a UK license. The announcement came from John Penrose, Minister responsible for gambling regulation.
The UK license will be required of all online gaming operators wishing to service the UK, even those that are based within the country. Currently offshore sites are not required to have a UK license, but are still required to maintain a license from one of the countries in the European Economic Area or from a “white-listed” country such as Antigua and Barbuda, Gilbraltar or the Isle of Man.
There’s no timetable set for the new licensing system to be in place, but when it does take effect a rash of banned sites in the UK doesn’t appear likely. Penrose suggested that the new system would use a “lighter touch approach” towards companies already licensed in the UK through the current regulatory system.
While the new licensing system isn’t likely to drastically change the number of online gambling providers to the UK, it does seem to be a part of the groundwork needed to more effectively regulate and ultimately tax proceeds from online gambling.
Although the recent troubles of Full Tilt Poker in regards to maintaining its license with the Alderney Gambling Control Commission seem to be a factor in the UK’s decision to change its policies, the official releases from the country make no mention of Full Tilt Poker troubles.
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