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GBGA set to challenge new UK gambling laws

The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) confirmed that it is planning to launch a legal challenge against the recently introduced new UK gambling laws that has made it harder for firms to earn a gaming licence.

The GBGA has officially commented that the new laws, the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act introduced by the UK government earlier this year are deemed to be “unlawful” and it intends to legally challenge the laws.

Despite the UK government claiming the new laws have been introduced to protect consumers from the ever-growing gambling industry, the GBGA counters those claims by stating that the new laws could have an adverse effect and actually harm consumers in the long term.

In its submission to the High Court of England and Wales, the GBGA stated “The absence of effective supervision and enforcement, coupled with the burdensome regulatory requirements, will encourage the growth of and migration to unregulated or poorly regulated operators which will present genuine risks to the British consumer.”

The submission also read “When introducing the new licensing regime, the defendants rejected the option of a ‘passporting’ regime. This would have been both less onerous to legitimate operators and more effective in protecting consumers, since it would have been based on effective supervision and cooperation between the Gambling Commission and overseas regulators.”

The UK government has been accused of simply introducing the new laws as a method of increasing revenues and using the benefits to the consumer as a cover-up for the real intent of reaping the economic benefits.

Chief Executive of the GBGA, Peter Howitt, said “The only beneficiaries of this change are the UK domestic industry and the Gambling Commission itself, which has persuaded the UK Government that it should be the global regulator of this high-tech and complex industry. It has neither the resources, the legal powers, nor the skills to operate successfully across the globe.”

Howitt added “This is bad news for consumers, and for international competition. We have an effective and knowledgeable regulator in Gibraltar. That the Gambling Commission believes it is better placed to regulate the industry here is laughable. We are determined to fight against measures that actually undermine consumer protection.”