What Does 2019 Has in Store for the Gambling Industry in the United Kingdom
The Prosperity and Growth of the UK Gambling Industry
The gambling industry in the United Kingdom has been doing nothing but expanding and flourishing throughout the last ten years. According to the data from the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission), from 2017, the UK Gambling Industry achieved a gross income from gaming that amounted up to £14 billion, with internet gambling accounting for over £4.7billion of that sum. In 2018, the UK legislators realized that the prosperity, expansion, and growth of the UK gambling industry is detrimental to the UK gamblers. Therefore, the United Kingdom is suffering from a state-wide problem-gambling epidemic, and this was the primary factor that fueled the change in the gambling laws of the United Kingdom. In 2018, the regulators passed different bills that are going to take effect next year, in 2019.
The Changes in the UK Gambling Industry in 2019
According to the Daily Mail and The Guardian, the UK government is planning to increase the taxing on gaming, as well as implementing the FOBT’s max wager reduction. Many believe that these moves are a result of the opinions of critics that state that there isn’t enough money for the recovery of problem-gamblers in the United Kingdom.
Will 2019 Witness the FOBTs Cut?
In May of 2018, the Department of Media, Sport, Digital and Culture decided to cut down the maximum wager at FOBTs from £100 to £2, considering them a social blight. The decision was going to be effective in 2019, but the legislators stated that they would postpone it to April of 2020. The Treasury is going to lose more than £100 million per year due to that postponement. On the other hand, it is less than the £457 million that they will lose in taxes. The Association of British Bookmakers supports the delay, while the Labor Party speaks against it, and up to this date, there is no confirmation whether we will see the cut in the maximum stake of FOBTs in 2019, or will it remain postponed to 2020.
The Increase of the POC Tax
According to the current laws, the POC (Point of Consumption) tax on online gambling is 15%. The tax became effective back in 2014, and it was the way through which the British Government could tax the online casinos that are based offshore, but offer their services to UK citizens. According to reports, the government is planning to increase the tax to 21%. The increase is going to make up for the decrease in taxes, following the cut in the maximum stake of FOBTs, which will cost around £1.15 billion in five years.
Many online gambling firms complained about this increase. They claim that such a massive increase will put a lot of pressure on them to increase their prices to make up for the loss. The gambling firms also complained that they would have to go through two drastic changes in a short period, referring to the increase of the POC tax and the FOBTs max stake cut. Regardless of these complaints, the POC tax remains the way through which the government manages to provide equal chances for the gambling operators that have their base of operations on United Kingdom soil. The POC tax does not have a definite date of implementation yet, but it should be in the early months of 2019.