The UK is the undisputed market leader in the online gambling world. Most major companies have leadership there and most major industry media (including CalvinAyre.com) have some or all of their presence there. Now, for the first time since 1974, the UK is facing a hung parliament. The youthful online gambling industry wasn’t around in 1974, and really has known no other governing party than Labour. So over the coming days, as the three parties thrash out some kind of workable coalition, we find ourselves in uncharted waters.
The Conservatives, having won a plurality of seats, will likely take the reins of (limited) power in this divided legislature. The Tories traditionally don’t have any ideological bones to pick with gambling, and are considered to be more apt to both simplify and lower the tax burden imposed on the sector. That said, whoever takes over in Westminster will inherit deficits that no honest country can pay (and that’s before factoring in the billions of pounds UK banks stand to lose if Greece goes tits-up) so the Tories may well have to curb their tax-cutting instincts.
What does seem certain is that the licensing changes proposed by the Labour government will be instituted regardless of which party takes over. But this is unlikely to ruffle many feathers because most major companies, recognizing the imperative of having a presence in the UK market, are already well prepared for this eventuality.
For a broader perspective on what the future may hold, click here.