UK’s Online Poker Market
The UK stands out as one of the largest regulated online poker markets in the world. There are a couple of countries that do not allow international poker liquidity, but this is not the case in Canada and United Kingdom. Players are able to access any international site as long as they have a gaming licence issued by the UK Gambling Commission.
Some of the Biggest UK Online Poker Sites
PokerStars holds the record where they have an average of 17,500 players at any given time. This is estimated to be seven times against their competitor in second place. With such a player pool, PokerStars is able to offer tens of millions of dollars in guaranteed tournament prizes every week. PokerStars is home to the highest limit poker games in the World Wide Web and has an extensive selection of mixed games.
The second largest poker site is 888. This poker sites offers more than $1 million in tournament pool money every week. The game selection is also extensive but most of the players will find availability to be adequate. In addition to the huge collection of games, you will find games like Pot Limit Omaha High/Low and No Limit Texas Hold’em.
In third place is iPoker. The poker site is powered by the renowned Playtech. iPoker has an average of 1500 cash game players. The site has more than $1 million in tournament prizes every week. The popular games at the site include Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold’em.
There are more significant poker sites in the UK and they are Unibet, Sky Poker and Full Tilt Poker.
Poker Market activities
UK Gambling Commission is the regulator to all online gambling activities in the industry. The regulator is responsible for streamlining sport betting, games of chance, casinos and poker. This commission was formed in 2005.
In its early years, it only regulated online gaming policies. In 2007, they were tasked with the responsibility of regulating brick and mortar shops. Originally, the online gaming policies were not effective, sites were required to have a physical location for them to get the UK Gambling Commission licence. This motivated companies to move to tax havens like Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Malta. With this in play, the commission was not able to tax the companies. This made is hard to resolve any disputes that would arise.
With such huddles, the commission was forced to change the regulation in 2014 to include the dispute resolution issues and taxation. This prompted that any company operating in the UK required having a gaming licence. Companies were no longer able to evade the process by having their operations in other countries. This made a lot of the companies to exit the UK market since they did not want any government scrutiny.
Online Poker Tax Rates
Online gaming sites operating in the UK need to pay a 15% point of consumption tax. Most of the online gaming companies where not subjected to any tax before December 2014 when these laws came into effect. Some of the gaming companies were paying a fraction of the 15% in alternative jurisdictions with low taxes and regulations. For some, they thought that the tax rate would not make their businesses viable.
Live Poker in The UK
Live poker market is healthy in the UK. England has more than 30 cities with live poker room. This means that the localities have more than 1000 poker tables across and almost 100 poker rooms.
The rake in the UK is higher than USA but lower than other countries across the globe.