UK to Regulate Offshore Internet Sports Betting
December 25, 2009 (CAP Newswire) – As more and more online sports betting and wagering companies move out of the UK’s borders and set up operations offshore, the British government is reported to be considering implementing more strict regulations on overseas businesses to retain some control over the industry.
Even though recent shifts in the sport and racing betting industry has caused some difficulties there, the UK is still the world’s second largest online gaming market, not far behind the U.S., according to a recent article in the Guardian UK.
“The government is planning to recommend a new licensing regime for offshore bookmakers to help ensure they provide information about suspicious betting patterns, amid increased concerns about the extent of match-fixing in sport,” writes Owen Gibson in the article.
The new regulations, based on a review commissioned earlier in 2009, will be unveiled early in 2010. The emphasis will be on “including securing fair contributions from overseas licensed operators towards the cost of regulation”.
“For more than a decade the horse racing industry has warned that a mass defection offshore by bookmakers could cripple racing’s income and claim it is now coming to pass,” Gibson adds, pointing out that the loss of such powerful betting firms as Ladbrokes and William Hill has cost the UK’s racing industry about £4.2m. Whether additional regulation will hurt or help the situation remains to be seen.