UKGC Announces that Bitcoin Gambling Sites Should Comply with Regulations

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Gambling CommissionOnline gambling has captured the attention of European regulators chiefly because they want to prevent gambling-related problems. UK regulators, in particular, are focusing on bitcoin.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced that operators of bitcoin online gambling sites are required to comply with the country’s gambling regulations. According to UK gambling laws, any operator providing gambling services to the residents of UK is required to get a license from the UKGC.

The regulator found it necessary to make this announcement as several companies are illegally offering bitcoin gaming services in the UK. Jenny Williams, the chief executive officer of UKGC, said that operators have been either illegally running bitcoin gambling services or illegally advertising their products and services or both.

Liberal Gambling Laws in the UK

Unlike countries that are least friendly to online gambling, the UK has created a set of liberal laws for its gambling industry. Gambling in the UK has a rich and eventful history, dating back to the II World War. British soldiers became very fond of playing bingo, which they introduced in their home country. UK passed its Betting and Gaming Act in 1960, legalizing member-only bingo clubs. The Gaming Act of 1968 legalized commercial gambling activities and better laws were passed in 2005.

Everybody believed that bitcoin will continue to be unregulated as the UK government decided to exempt bitcoin businesses from licensing and regulation in 2013. But the UK tax authority objected to it and demanded that a sales tax should be applied to all bitcoin transactions. Taking the tax authorities proposals into consideration, the UK government in March 2015 announced that it will regulate bitcoin exchanges to protect consumers and prevent money laundering.

No Ban on Encryption

Shortly after terrorist attacks on Tunisia, PM David Cameron had hinted a crackdown on all bitcoin transactions. He had remarked strongly against terrorists making use of encryption technology to launch terror attacks and had expressed intentions of ensuring that “terrorists do not have a safe space in which to communicate.”

However, the bitcoin gaming community can relax as the UK government has made it quite clear that it does not intend to ban encryption. A representative of the UK government said: “The Prime Minister did not suggest encryption should be banned.” On the other hand, UK understands that encryption is essential as it makes online transactions more secure by keeping them private.

The UK is home to several bitcoin companies. In fact, London is soon expected to become an international bitcoin hub. The government is keeping an open mind with regard to developments in the bitcoin gaming industry. A few months back, the government had invited information about digital currency such as bitcoin to improve its understanding of the bitcoin industry.

Bitcoin Gaming Popular in the UK

The fact that there is no shortage of bitcoin gambling sites for UK residents clearly indicates the popularity of the digital currency in that country. In fact, there is a wide selection of Bitcoin casinos available for players in the UK.

July 19, 2015: • No Comments

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