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Regulations See William Hill Test Online Casino Compliance

Well known UK gambling entity William Hill has begun the process of having its online casino games vetted by Netherlands testing house NMi Gaming, to ensure that they comply with the UK governments new regulations concerning the operation of online casinos that target UK customers.

The new regulations, known as the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act, came into effect on the 1st of November this year, and the UK government has offered a 12 month grace period for affected online casino operators to undertake compliance measures which will ensure that their products are legal under the definition of UK law.

The compliance action from William Hill is necessary with the new regulations bringing changes in regards to how online casino license holders pay tax, with the new measures specifically aimed at taxing offshore casino operators offering products to UK based players, who have previously not been paying taxes to the UK government.

William Hill And NMI

William Hill and NMi already have an established partnership, with NMi previously being contracted to test the majority of William Hills Category B betting terminals and other wagering games which are located in retail shops throughout the UK.

The announcement of an on-going working partnership therefore makes sense for both the established gambling entity William Hill, and NMi, which has over 35 years’ experience in the gaming industry themselves.

UK Government

As of December 1st, online casino operators, irrespective of their location, will be required to pay a 15% tax on all gross profits which are derived from gamers who are based in the United Kingdom, with forecasts that these new changes will benefit HM Revenue & Customs, and therefore the UK government, to the tune of £300m a year.

The UK government has welcomed the new changes, and has been promoting their view that the new system will create more equality amongst all online casino operators, be they based in the UK or offshore.

From the UK government’s point of view, these measures are perfectly reasonable considering the evolving nature of online gaming into an international product, rather than a location specific product.

Remote Gambling Association

The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has reacted with less optimism, noting that the new regulations are likely to hurt operators in the UK gaming market.

The RGA is of the belief that any tax levied on operators should not be set at above 10% – 5% less than the UK government’s new rate – and that the implementation of a high tax rate will render online casino operators unsustainable.

Wait And See

For now online casino operators such as William Hill have little choice but to comply with the new regulations, or abandon their UK markets all together. With the latter option extremely unlikely, online operators are hoping that time will reveal the 15% tax rate to be unfair and unworkable, and a that the UK government will move towards a lower, more sustainable tax rate.