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Author Topic: UK Gambling Commission says UK based sites need a license!  (Read 11516 times)
ButterflySammy
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October 10, 2013, 09:16:11 AM
 #1

I see a lot of people here saying that Bitcoin Gambling sites in the UK do not need to be licensed because "Bitcoin is not money".

The Gambling Commission takes a different view:

Quote
Dear ButterflySammy,
 
Thank you for your email.
 
You mention that HMRC doesn’t recognise Bitcoin as currency, which is fine.
 
However, when it comes to gambling, the Gambling Act 2005 defines gambling as the ability to win prizes of money, or money’s worth.
 
While bitcoin can’t be classed as money, per se, it certainly counts as money’s worth.
 
The Gambling Commission receives a number of requests from people seeking advice or approval in setting up a business. We do not provide legal advice, including advice concerning the correct interpretation of legislation. Therefore, we cannot advise you regarding the viability or legality of a business idea. It is up to you to obtain your own business or legal advice.
 
Kind regards,
 
Licensing Officer

There you have it - Bitcoin is "Money's Worth" even if it isn't "Money" therefor any site operating in or from the UK still needs a license.

If you are betting with or investing in a UK based site you need to be aware that they could be shutdown and take your money with them.

If you run or are plan on running such a site - you need to lawyer up or start filling in the paperwork. I had a look at the fees, it is not cheap, it is not pretty.
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October 10, 2013, 10:25:35 AM
 #2

This is good information, thank you for sharing it. Hopefully some sites will get a license and comply with the laws to avoid legal problems.
dragonkid
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October 10, 2013, 10:47:35 AM
 #3

This is good information, thank you for sharing it. Hopefully some sites will get a license and comply with the laws to avoid legal problems.

Alternatively host the gambling site offshore.  Wink

ButterflySammy
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October 10, 2013, 10:58:50 AM
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This is good information, thank you for sharing it. Hopefully some sites will get a license and comply with the laws to avoid legal problems.

Alternatively host the gambling site offshore.  Wink

Careful - UK based developers may still need a developer license and operators may still need a personal/organisational license if they reside within the UK.

If you ever try to cash out your share of your sites takings and the bank reports it upstream or if you were to record it faithfully on your tax return, if you were discovered to be operating without proper licensing even through an offshore website, you could still face the same fines and jail time.

Rather than take legal advice from people on a forum - which let's be honest is why we ended up with so many sites before one of them even consulted the law, get a lawyer rather than thinking you or someone else with no legal experience whatsoever have found a loophole.
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October 10, 2013, 12:46:02 PM
 #5

If you run or are plan on running such a site - you need to lawyer up or start filling in the paperwork. I had a look at the fees, it is not cheap, it is not pretty.

This is probably true in most places.  However, there isn't just a bureaucratic issue, which would be bad enough.  Often the "regulatory" bodies for gambling are utterly corrupt.  It's not for nothing that one of the largest corruption scandals in recent memory involved Indian casinos, which basically involved extorting bribes from casinos to shut their competitors down, while playing both sides of the fence.  I.e. "Christian" crook Ralph Reed would have his "Christian" group attack casinos, but not the ones who were paying the cartel.
ButterflySammy
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October 10, 2013, 01:20:20 PM
 #6

If you run or are plan on running such a site - you need to lawyer up or start filling in the paperwork. I had a look at the fees, it is not cheap, it is not pretty.

This is probably true in most places.  However, there isn't just a bureaucratic issue, which would be bad enough.  Often the "regulatory" bodies for gambling are utterly corrupt.  It's not for nothing that one of the largest corruption scandals in recent memory involved Indian casinos, which basically involved extorting bribes from casinos to shut their competitors down, while playing both sides of the fence.  I.e. "Christian" crook Ralph Reed would have his "Christian" group attack casinos, but not the ones who were paying the cartel.
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October 10, 2013, 05:45:12 PM
 #7

This guy says he phoned them 4 months ago and they said they don't issue gambling licences for bitcoin:

http://www.justanswer.com/uk-law/7rxz1-hi-i-seen-bitcoin-deposit-withdrawal-gambling.html
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October 11, 2013, 03:53:25 AM
 #8

How about anonymous developers who live in unknown places on earth, but virtually guaranteed to be outside the UK. (Or there is no proof they are in the UK.)

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ButterflySammy
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October 11, 2013, 08:33:39 AM
 #9

This guy says he phoned them 4 months ago and they said they don't issue gambling licences for bitcoin:

http://www.justanswer.com/uk-law/7rxz1-hi-i-seen-bitcoin-deposit-withdrawal-gambling.html

Maybe the guy on the internet is wrong. Maybe they changed their mind since he asked.

I spoke to them this week, they don't issue licenses "for Bitcoin" but they do think Bitcoin is covered by existing gambling laws.

Feel free to email or call yourself.
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October 11, 2013, 12:15:36 PM
 #10

Maybe the guy on the internet is wrong. Maybe they changed their mind since he asked.

I spoke to them this week, they don't issue licenses "for Bitcoin" but they do think Bitcoin is covered by existing gambling laws.

Feel free to email or call yourself.

Did you look into costs?
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October 12, 2013, 08:58:23 AM
 #11

This is good information, thank you for sharing it. Hopefully some sites will get a license and comply with the laws to avoid legal problems.

Alternatively host the gambling site offshore.  Wink

Careful - UK based developers may still need a developer license and operators may still need a personal/organisational license if they reside within the UK.

If you ever try to cash out your share of your sites takings and the bank reports it upstream or if you were to record it faithfully on your tax return, if you were discovered to be operating without proper licensing even through an offshore website, you could still face the same fines and jail time.

Rather than take legal advice from people on a forum - which let's be honest is why we ended up with so many sites before one of them even consulted the law, get a lawyer rather than thinking you or someone else with no legal experience whatsoever have found a loophole.

This is why you don't cash out your share of the BTC, you don't send it to a bank, and you leave it off your tax return. You SPEND it. You can buy cash right off of BitMit, or buy something which holds its value well for a short time and sell it.

Code:
Donations: BTC: 1WoLFdwcfNEg64fTYsX1P25KUzzSjtEZC -- XMR: 45SLUTzk7UXYHmzJ7bFN6FPfzTusdUVAZjPRgmEDw7G3SeimWM2kCdnDQXwDBYGUWaBtZNgjYtEYA22aMQT4t8KfU3vHLHG
dragonkid
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October 12, 2013, 09:08:11 AM
 #12

This is good information, thank you for sharing it. Hopefully some sites will get a license and comply with the laws to avoid legal problems.

Alternatively host the gambling site offshore.  Wink

Careful - UK based developers may still need a developer license and operators may still need a personal/organisational license if they reside within the UK.

If you ever try to cash out your share of your sites takings and the bank reports it upstream or if you were to record it faithfully on your tax return, if you were discovered to be operating without proper licensing even through an offshore website, you could still face the same fines and jail time.

Rather than take legal advice from people on a forum - which let's be honest is why we ended up with so many sites before one of them even consulted the law, get a lawyer rather than thinking you or someone else with no legal experience whatsoever have found a loophole.

This is why you don't cash out your share of the BTC, you don't send it to a bank, and you leave it off your tax return. You SPEND it. You can buy cash right off of BitMit, or buy something which holds its value well for a short time and sell it.

Yeah, you don't need to cash them out into your bank account, then you don't need to pay tax return. That is the point of doing it offshore. I know a lot of people who work abroad. And they will put those money in their offshore account which don't pay tax.

Also if you really need money, just go to localbitcoins.com exchange only what you need and spend it.

Wolf0
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October 12, 2013, 09:13:55 AM
 #13

This is good information, thank you for sharing it. Hopefully some sites will get a license and comply with the laws to avoid legal problems.

Alternatively host the gambling site offshore.  Wink

Careful - UK based developers may still need a developer license and operators may still need a personal/organisational license if they reside within the UK.

If you ever try to cash out your share of your sites takings and the bank reports it upstream or if you were to record it faithfully on your tax return, if you were discovered to be operating without proper licensing even through an offshore website, you could still face the same fines and jail time.

Rather than take legal advice from people on a forum - which let's be honest is why we ended up with so many sites before one of them even consulted the law, get a lawyer rather than thinking you or someone else with no legal experience whatsoever have found a loophole.

This is why you don't cash out your share of the BTC, you don't send it to a bank, and you leave it off your tax return. You SPEND it. You can buy cash right off of BitMit, or buy something which holds its value well for a short time and sell it.

Yeah, you don't need to cash them out into your bank account, then you don't need to pay tax return. That is the point of doing it offshore. I know a lot of people who work abroad. And they will put those money in their offshore account which don't pay tax.

Also if you really need money, just go to localbitcoins.com exchange only what you need and spend it.

Nope. Problem with that approach: Many banks with strong bank secrecy laws won't do business with US citizens. You have a US passport, you're fucked. That's why you spend it.

Code:
Donations: BTC: 1WoLFdwcfNEg64fTYsX1P25KUzzSjtEZC -- XMR: 45SLUTzk7UXYHmzJ7bFN6FPfzTusdUVAZjPRgmEDw7G3SeimWM2kCdnDQXwDBYGUWaBtZNgjYtEYA22aMQT4t8KfU3vHLHG
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June 16, 2015, 02:12:17 AM
 #14

The UK Gambling Commission has written to online sportsbooks, bookmakers and casinos telling them to block anyone with a UK IP address.
Already, Direct Bet and the Fairlay Bitcoin betting exchange have implemented this today.
It's outrageous.
yahoo62278
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June 16, 2015, 02:15:34 AM
 #15

The UK Gambling Commission has written to online sportsbooks, bookmakers and casinos telling them to block anyone with a UK IP address.
Already, Direct Bet and the Fairlay Bitcoin betting exchange have implemented this today.
It's outrageous.

couldnt users do just like they do on primedice and use a vpn though? seems like theres a loophole for almost everything these days

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June 16, 2015, 04:03:14 AM
 #16

The UK Gambling Commission has written to online sportsbooks, bookmakers and casinos telling them to block anyone with a UK IP address.
Already, Direct Bet and the Fairlay Bitcoin betting exchange have implemented this today.
It's outrageous.

Are Direct Bet and the Fairlay Bitcoin UK based?

If not, why are they blocking UK IPs?

I don't understand why everyone seems to be taking orders from the UK Gambling Commission all of a sudden without any explanation to end users.

Any more details on this would be appreciated.
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June 16, 2015, 07:08:28 AM
 #17

The UK Gambling Commission has written to online sportsbooks, bookmakers and casinos telling them to block anyone with a UK IP address.
Already, Direct Bet and the Fairlay Bitcoin betting exchange have implemented this today.
It's outrageous.

couldnt users do just like they do on primedice and use a vpn though? seems like theres a loophole for almost everything these days

Yes they can login using VPN and TOR . I couldn't find any news article relating to the info however, but does seem UK users have been locked out. 
But I also see Pokerstars starting to open a sportsbook in the UK just recently: http://uk.pokernews.com/news/2015/05/pokerstars-sports-betting-offering-goes-live-in-the-uk-17854.htm

Seems they will be setback as well.
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June 16, 2015, 07:10:33 AM
 #18

ahh, internet has no borders..why should somebody host his site in UK, if they had such regulations? for bitcoin sites, I don't see any issue at all here..fortunately.)
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June 16, 2015, 07:16:01 AM
 #19

ahh, internet has no borders..why should somebody host his site in UK, if they had such regulations? for bitcoin sites, I don't see any issue at all here..fortunately.)
It did have some affect on bitcoin sites. Directbet and Fairlay seems to have blocked UK based IP's already .
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June 16, 2015, 07:57:33 AM
 #20

But Uk request a license to uk based site, only for tax questions?
Because in italy, first you can bet to all site in the world, now you can bet only to italian site with government license and have a odds more low of 20% to other
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