Our solicitors regularly advise clients on setting up a variety of sites both within the UK and abroad. Enquiries come from as far afield as China, India, Russia and the USA, as well as other parts of Europe.
This area of business is particulary competitive and complex and if you are proposing to establish an online presence we suggest that you examine both the technical and legal aspects of setting up a business in the country that you want to trade.
If you plan to set up a site that delivers services to the UK, you will need a licence from the Gambling Commission. In the past, there have been a number of ‘whitelisted’ countries where you can base your operation and target the UK without a UK licence ;
- EEA countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Isle of Man
Some countries – such as the Isle of Man – have a distinct advantage because of the 0% rate of corporation tax.
This arrangement of reciprocal licensing has now ceased and anyone wishing to target the UK will need to obtain a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. If you are contemplating an application, it is sensible to ensure that you have sufficient UK-based advice in place well before the requirement to be licensed comes into force.
Setting up a gambling site can be expensive because of the technical requirements of the software, security and legal issues. We recommend that anyone attempting to set up a gambling or gaming website evaluates the financial implications extremely carefully before proceeding. You should expect a budget of no less that £8,000 to cover legal and licensing fees, providing that you have significant experience of this type of business.