UK government dismisses lawmaker's crypto-like gambling proposal

By: Micheal Wilson

UK government dismisses lawmaker's crypto-like gambling proposal

July 20, 2023 2:25 PM

The administration also stated that it is already attempting to regulate the cryptocurrency sector and that the proposed legislation was presented to parliament and reviewed last month.

The UK government dismissed a proposal→ by the House of Commons Treasury Committee to establish rules for cryptocurrency retail trading in the same manner that it regulates gambling, indicating that it "strongly disagrees" with the committee's stance. 

In a committee report→ published on May 17, British lawmakers recommended treating the cryptocurrency market in the United Kingdom (UK) like the gambling industry. According to the Treasury Committee, crypto investment activity follows the idea of "same risk, same regulatory outcome."

The United Kingdom Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffith, wrote back to the committee on July 20 to express his department's opposition to the proposal, stating that "the Treasury firmly disagrees with the Committee's suggestion to classify retail investment and trading activity in unbacked crypto-assets as gambling instead of as a financial service."

The Gambling Act of 2005 controls all types of gambling in the United Kingdom. Businesses such as bingo halls, lotteries, betting shops, internet bookmakers, and casinos are being scrutinized for their efforts to reduce compulsive gambling and adopt anti-money laundering measures. 

According to the official reaction, such an approach has the ability to utterly contradict internationally agreed-upon advice from international organizations and standard-setting agencies. According to the British government, the committee's recommendations may result in ambiguous and overlapping responsibilities between financial regulators and the Gambling Commission.

The government also stated that it is currently working on regulating the cryptocurrency sector and that possible regulatory legislation was introduced and debated in parliament last month. In terms of establishing norms for the crypto business and crypt enterprises, the government stated: 

"HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will work together with the sector to ensure that crypto firms understand the criteria required for authorization at the FSMA gateway." Further messages will be sent in due course, ensuring that crypto firms that operate in the UK have a clear knowledge of standards for approval."

The administration also stated that this legislation might go into effect by late 2023 while emphasizing that the committee's recommendations were taken into account.