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Offshore betting is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for the UK. Regulations around the betting industry are under constant review here, and over the years this has continued to put greater and greater pressure on operators and indeed on players.
For this and a host of other reasons, many domestic British players have turned to offshore betting companies for their services—so how can the UK combat this?
Four Ways the UK Can Fight Back Against Offshore Betting Companies
Let’s look at a few ways the UK can fight back…
1. Ban foreign firms advertising
One of the simplest things that the UK government could do is prevent foreign betting companies from advertising in the UK. Currently, there are many opportunities for foreign firms to advertise to British viewers and UK residents. Particularly, many football and rugby teams partner with betting companies based in places like Gibraltar and Malta, to attract domestic players.
A simple way to reduce the impact of offshore betting would be to not let them advertise in the UK. Then, people wouldn’t be so easily aware of where to go to get their offshore services.
2. Work with international regulators
The next step is going to be partnering with the international community to help understand and reduce the impact of offshore betting. While many offshore betting companies are completely unregulated, this is not always the case. For instance, the International Association of Gaming Regulators consists of members from worldwide regulatory bodies.
The aims of these bodies are broad, but certainly it is in most of their interests to reduce the frequency of offshore betting. It is going to be very difficult for the UK to regulate offshore gambling if they are not able to get information from a wide range of sources.
So, the work certainly starts with the offshore gambling services themselves. But another good way to combat this problem starts at home.
3. Education on safety
While regulations may feel like a thorn in the side of many operators, for players, it is different. There are very few regulations which get in the way of a bettor’s ability to enjoy the game. Regulations are designed to protect consumers, and by and large, that is what they do.
But many people do not understand this. They don’t understand the risks associated with taking their betting offshore, because they take the kind of regulatory protections that they are afforded domestically for granted. Sites like Findbettingsites show that UKGC are the safest bet for UK punters, as these sites ensure their money is protected should they fail.
Educating people on understanding their lack of legal recourse if anything went wrong, and the fact that there are even rules around fairness in regulations which offshore companies have no obligation to abide by.
4. Close tax loopholes
Finally, avoiding game regulation isn’t the only reason international, offshore companies offer betting services. The other reason is the oldest in the financial playbook: tax avoidance. Many companies will set themselves up in tax havens, as offshore companies offering betting services, so that they can avoid paying the 15% of their income to the tax office.
Closing these kinds of tax loopholes would reduce the number of offshore companies, and thus reduce the problem of how easy it is for people to use them. Again, for the most part, the solutions to these issues start with the companies. If operators are discouraged from offering international services, then it won’t be so simple for players to use them.
This article just scratches the surface. There are more than a few things that UK companies can do to combat offshore betting, then. It starts with actually getting directly involved on the international scene—limiting how foreign firms can advertise here, partnering with international bodies for monitoring offshore companies, and closing the tax loopholes.