The U.K. Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published a consultation document this month explaining how the government proposes to undertake the transition from the existing regulatory framework and move into the new system of licenses established by Gambling Act 2005. The first in a series of papers setting out the government's proposals for implement the new Gambling Act, this document explains what the transitional arrangement will mean for both existing and prospective new operators in Britain.
The first part of the document describes what existing operators will need to do convert their current licenses and permits to the relevant ones under the new Act, and the second part explains what organizations seeking their first license or permit will need to do in the run up to September 1, 2007 when the new Act becomes effective.
All operators wishing to offer remote gambling services (with the exception of existing registered lotteries) after Sept. 1, 2007 will need to apply to the Gambling Commission for the appropriate license sometime after Jan. 1, 2007.
The document lays out a scheme of grandfather rights and continuation rights, but they generally will not apply to the operations of new remote gaming companies hoping to locate to the United Kingdom. Continuation rights will apply, however, to operators who have used their existing licenses to offer remote gambling services, including holders of bookmaking permits and holders of bingo licenses offering linked or multiple bingo. To receive continuation rights, an operator must submit an advance application before April 27, 2007. The operator will then be entitled to continue operating through Sept. 1, 2007 as though it had been granted an interim license even if no decision has been made on the application.
The Transitional Arrangements paper is a consultation document, and as such, the proposals contained are not set in stone. DCMS welcomes any comments on the proposals before May 2, 2006.
Click here to view the DCMS's Gambling Act 2005 - Transitional Arrangements Consultation Document.