New U.K. Gambling Act to take effect in 2007, three-month transitional period begins now

The British government last week announced the beginning of a three-month consultation period for the implementation of the new Gambling Act, which will take effect on September 1, 2007. The three-month period has been scheduled to allow all operators to transition from the current system to the new system introduced by the 2005 Gambling Act.

The Gambling Act was introduced to simplify the complex system currently in use, which was established in the 1940s and involves the use of licenses, permits and registrations. According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's website, "The proposals will ensure that all operators are required to abide by tough new rules relating to the protection of children and vulnerable people from 1 September 2007."

The transitional proposals are also in place to "give operators a clear understanding of what they have to do and when in order to convert their existing permissions, to keep administrative and cost burdens on the industry to a minimum, and to allow sufficient lead time to allow the industry and regulators alike to prepare properly."

Gaming firms and operators, industry groups, licensing justices, and local authorities have until May 2, 2006, to submit comments to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's regarding the 2005 Gambling Act.

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