UK Payment Processors VolunteerTo Block Illegal Offshore Gambling Transactions
The muck talked about Point of Consumption Tax (POC) is set to come into play in December this year. To recap until now many UK bookmakers operated from offshore tax havens like Gibraltar and were subject to tax rates as low as 1%. With the new bill coming into play they are set to pay up to 15% which could according to many experts lead to a “seismic shift” in the UK online gambling market. The issue of gambling has become part of the political debate and politicians are eager to their say at the cost of bookmakers.
The screws are being tightened on the bookmakers even before legislation kicks in. In January we reported on the Gambling Commission’s “request” for Internet Service Providers to block access to unlicensed gambling websites. At the time both TalkTalk and BT refused to put up warning pages to online players without a court order citing the rationale that they were not the internet police.
In another move to clamp down on offshore operators The House of Lords rejected a proposed amendment to the Gambling Bill that would have allowed the UK Gambling commission to essentially block financial transactions between unlicensed online gambling operators and financial institutions. The Bill was narrowly rejected earlier on Tuesday where members voted 185 to 171 against the amendment.
However in contrast to the ISP’s who stood their ground against the pressure of the Gambling Commission, several payment processors like Visa, MasterCard and PayPal have voluntarily agreed to block all transactions involving unlicensed gambling companies. The proposed changes will come into effect in December when the proposed POC Tax comes into play.