The United Kingdom is part of the group of countries which have adopted a wait-and-see approach to Bitcoin gambling. This may not be the best approach as bitcoin volatility makes it really difficult to gauge its success on any given day. Moreover, with bitcoin online gambling expanding to altcoins and other cryptocurrencies, such as Monero and Etherium, waiting to see the outcome may have a higher risk of loss and potential clean up from fraud later on. Regardless, this is the current approach for legislators as they are waiting on the current Gambling Act of 2005. 13 years into this law has provided for a largely friendly playing field in the betting world. Cryptocurrency gambling is slowly working within this law.
In fact, apart from the usual requirements such as the need for providers to promote responsible play, the legislation doesn’t seem to have anything against crypto-powered platforms. Regulation and moderation of the betting sector is left to the Gambling Commission which works closely with licensing authorities to weed out bad elements. In this regard, the body has expressly banned all illegal betting activities and gambling-related corruption in all sports.
Passage of Gambling Act 2005 was Historic
To industry watchers, it’s the passage of the UK Gambling Act 2005 (even before Bitcoin came around) that planted the seed for the flourishing betting sector. Bitcoin casinos are indebted to this act, simply by not including any restrictions or violations against them!
The gambling commission was created from the act has a complete mandate to oversee the conduct of players and providers alike. Subsequently, all commercial gambling firms are licensed under the legislation and are expected to comply not only with the law but also with the expansive LCCP (Licence conditions & codes of practice).
Still on permits, all Bitcoin gambling businesses serving any or all UK residents must obtain an “operating licence” from the authority. With respect to enforcing the laws, the commission works with bodies such as the HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) and its enforcement of UK business taxes and HMRC gambling duties, as well as the UK police.
UK Treasury: “Cryptos are Safe”
In addition to the Gambling Commission allowing all types of gambling with virtual currencies, (at the discretion of the player), the government (through the Bank of England) has in the past concluded that digital currencies didn’t pose any risk to the country’s monetary or financial well-being. This is, by any means, a big boost to everyone involved, not least, Online Bitcoin casinos such as the Wild Tornado Casino which have always loved the UK market.
The positive impact of such a decree will be felt for long and could help boost the economy even as Norway takes a hardline stance again gambling.
2018 Anti-Money Laundering Act Problem
The 2018 Anti-Money Laundering Act may introduce more compliance problems and requirements in the not so distant future. Due to the growing concerns that digital money is being used for tax evasion and money laundering, some countries in the EU have been silently contemplating new ways to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.
And so has the UK with the greatest sign being the enactment of the sanctions & anti-money laundering act which gained royal assent in May.
The bill seeks to impose tougher sanctions on those found guilty of engaging in money laundering activities through cryptocurrency exchanges and other Bitcoin-accepting platforms.
With Britain preparing to leave Europe after the Brexit, it is hoped that the law will serve the country well in the future and help her meet the United Nations standards on money laundering. For the Bitcoin Gambling industry, there will definitely be more compliance and reporting requirements through the changes aren’t expected to be too drastic as to completely necessitate an overhaul of the system.
New Regulations Mooted to Protect Consumers
Like elsewhere in Europe where states fear that gambling comes at an inevitable social cost, the gambling commission has been working hard to create a policy that can best serve consumers. Just recently, the commission published a gambling-related harms report calling for views on the social expense of irresponsible gambling.
According to Neil McArthur, the regulators Chief Executive, the undertaking was motivated by the need to come up with an agreeable approach that can shield the consumers against exploitation by Betting firms.
“While the majority [of people enjoy] gambling without any harm, it can also have devastating effects on individuals, families and even communities,” Mr McArthur said.
The report was a collaboration with GambleAware funding it while the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, provided independent advice to the commision.
In Summary, What Does The Future Hold?
Neither the gambling commission nor any of its partners have announced any plans to fundamentally change the existing legal framework. Thus, the omens look good for the immediate future and stakeholders to have a reason to remain positive.
Yes, the 2018 Anti-Money Laundering Act will be enforced fully at some point. However, on further analysis, it’s a law that can actually benefit bitcoin gamblers if it succeeds in keeping money launderers off the system. Perhaps fewer exit scams and schemes online will take place. Similarly, any consumer protecting bills could create more confidence in the gaming arena and help reduce the social costs associated with over-indulgence in betting.
Because of a relaxed operating environment, the UK is a happy playground for gambling in general. One can also wager that the country is going to continue being welcoming for providers as well as bettors as there seem to be no radical changes planned.
Furthermore, the Bitcoin remains the most well-known virtual currency thus Online Bitcoin casinos are well-placed to dominate the market provided they are authorized by the Gambling Commission. Players can also be optimistic about what is on offer so far and the choices provided to them by the betting companies.