The events of the Black Friday, the fall of Full Tilt Poker, and the fact that a number of UK players are unable to access their Full Tilt Poker accounts have been very disappointing to the UK online poker gaming community. The culture secretary of Britain, therefore, wants to reform the existing online poker gaming legislation to protect British poker players from suffering the same fate once again.
The government of UK is going to review its online gaming regulations to protect players from offshore sites, regulated and licensed by foreign countries. Even as more and more offshore poker gaming sites and online sports betting sites are trying to expand in British soil, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is strongly advocating the implementation of tough licensing laws for offshore gaming companies in a bid to protect British citizens from losing their gambling funds.
The British government is concerned about the events of Black Friday—the US federal government crack down on 3 online poker giants, the subsequent seizure of their domain names and the arrest of their executives. A number of US players lost their online poker funds, and the British government does not want its own citizens to suffer such a fate.
The proposed changes in online gaming licensing laws, however, first need to be approved and will take a long time before they can be finally implemented. Offshore online sports betting and poker gaming companies may definitely have to face tougher licensing laws if they want to provide gaming services in Britain. They will also have to face restrictions related to ad campaigns targeting British consumers.
According to the present legislation, foreign gaming companies do not need to get a license from the UK Gambling Commission in order to provide gaming services in the UK; they can operate on licenses provided by licensing and regulatory bodies in foreign countries. In the near future, offshore gambling companies will have to get a license from the UK Gambling Commission before they can set up shop in the UK.
Regarding the proposed changes, Steven Brennan, the chief executive of the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) in Isle of Man, said: “The GSC thoroughly checks and vets every director and key official of any online gaming company” and can “turn down any company where it feels the company or the owners could bring the island to disrepute.” More will be known about the issue within the next few weeks.