UK Government Rejects Lawmaker Plan to Regulate Crypto as Gambling

The Treasury says it has learned lessons from FTX's collapse, and that gambling law doesn’t deal with crypto risks.

AccessTimeIconJul 20, 2023 at 10:43 a.m. UTC
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The U.K. government rejected lawmaker plans to regulate crypto like gambling, saying its existing proposals better address the risks posed by events such as the FTX collapse, in a document published Thursday.

In May, the House of Commons’ Treasury Committee expressed concern that government plans to apply rules broadly similar to those for traditional finance to crypto treats the sector too softly, creating a halo effect that makes people think investing in bitcoin (BTC) or ether (ETH) is safe.

“The Government firmly disagrees with the Committee’s recommendation” concerning retail crypto trading and investment, the Treasury response said.

“A system of gambling regulation, in isolation, would be unlikely to address these risk factors” such as the commingling of customer funds alleged of crypto exchange FTX, or correct problems linked to insider trading and market manipulation that are covered by traditional financial regulation, the government added.

“The recommendation to rely on gambling regulation would represent a fundamental departure from the Government’s intended approach which reflects recommendations from global standard-setting bodies,” the government said, citing recommendations from the Financial Stability Board recently endorsed by finance ministers from the world’s 20 leading economies, and warning that divergence would merely push crypto offshore.

In 2022, Rishi Sunak, then finance minister and now prime minister, said he wanted to make the U.K. a crypto hub, but the sector has warned its rulemaking is trailing behind rival jurisdictions such as the European Union.

Edited by Sandali Handagama.


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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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