The eve of 1 September: Are you ready?

United Kingdom

This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.

On 1 September 2007, the key provisions of the Gambling Act 2005 finally come into force, bringing with them the biggest overhaul of UK gambling law for years.

As of tomorrow, amongst other things, new offences will apply, new licences are required, advertising is (despite a last-minute u-turn!) generally liberalised, online gaming companies will be permitted to operate from the UK for the first time, and the Gambling Commission will finally have the power of enforcement.

However, the climate of uncertainty continues. Questions remain as to how the new legislation will be interpreted and how tough the Gambling Commission will be in enforcing the provisions of the new Act. It is our understanding that the Commission has promised not to adopt an aggressive stance, looking at a continuing dialogue with the industry and a warning-led approach to infringement. Yet until prosecutions have been brought and caselaw has been developed, uncertainties will remain and no-one is going to want to be the first against whom the Commission flexes its new enforcement muscles…