UK High Court rejects Gibraltar’s challenge to new gambling law
The High Court in the UK has dismissed the objection of the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) to the UK’s new online gambling legislation. With no further objections, the controversial new law should come into force on 1 November, 2014.
The GBGA had tried to block the implementation of the new law, in which all UK-facing gambling operators must pay 15 percent tax on all revenue earned from UK sources. The legislation had already been delayed a month to allow for the High Court’s deliberation.
Nicholas Green, High Court Lord Justice, decided that the GBGA had “not established that the new regime is unlawful under (European Union) or domestic law.” As
reported in Calvin Ayre
, the GBGA had claimed that the new legislation would create an “illicit market of unscrupulous service providers.”
The GBGA were also told they would have to contribute £100,000 towards the costs incurred by the UK Gambling Commission by defending GBGA’s objection. The GBGA declined to comment on whether they would appeal the decision.
The new UK legislation is likely to have a profound effect on online gambling in the UK. 888poker are one of a number of poker rooms to create a “UK-only” client, while Mansion Poker have withdrawn from the UK market completely.
The UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport welcomed the ruling, saying it paves the way for more stringent regulation of UK-facing gambling operators. The GBGA were understandably less impressed, saying that as it stood, the legislation would be difficult to enforce.
As a result of the decision, shares in UK bookmakers with online operations in Gibraltar tumbled.
William Hill was down over 2 percent, and the ailing Ladbrokes brand fell nearly 7 percent.