How the new Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 can aid the fight against match-fixing

Published 23 October 2014 By: Thomas Barnard

Feet and football

The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 (the “Act”) will come into force on 1 November 2014.1  It is hoped that the Act will offer at least some assistance in combating match-fixing in sport, and this article seeks to explain why and how that may be achieved, before looking at whether that is in fact likely to be the case.  It also looks at the role of the Gambling Commission (the “Commission”) under the new legislation.


The key provisions of the Act

The Act introduces several key provisions to the Gambling Act 2005, as follows:

  1. A requirement that remote operators (i.e. those operating outside of Great Britain) hold a UK operating licence in order to provide gambling facilities to customers in Great Britain.
  2. A requirement to hold a UK operating licence in order to advertise gambling facilities in Great Britain. Previously, operators based in the European Economic Area, Gibraltar and ‘white-listed’ jurisdictions (Alderney, Isle of Man, Tasmania, Antigua and Barbuda) did not have to obtain a licence.
  3. A requirement that remote operators pay gambling duty on UK revenue in Great Britain, regardless of where the operation is domiciled or has its seat of administration for tax purposes. The duty is currently 15% of gross gambling profits on all transactions with customers whose usual place of residence is in the UK. This is introduced by the Finance Act 2014.2

Following the commencement of the Act, only gambling operators licensed by the Commission will be permitted to advertise to consumers in Great Britain.3 Carriers of gambling advertising, such as sports clubs and governing bodies, will need to ensure that they only partner with licensed operators for their activities in Great Britain. Likewise, remote gambling operators will only be able to supply services to customers in Great Britain if they are licensed by the Commission.

How will this combat match fixing in sport?

So far as combating match-fixing is concerned, the Act may assist in two ways:

  1. It requires overseas operators offering facilities in the UK to obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission. This brings with it a responsibility to report suspicious activity; and
  2. It will generate revenue from bets placed in the UK with overseas operators.


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Thomas Barnard

Thomas Barnard

Tom is a solicitor specialising in commercial litigation and sports law. He acts for a wide variety of high-profile athletes, including cricketers, footballers, gymnasts and cyclists.

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