Today, the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority oversees some of the most well-managed and reputable gambling firms operating online. Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located near the south coast of Spain. Licensing of gambling operations has emerged as one of Gibraltar’s leading industries. The country has a trade association (Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association) that represents most of the online gaming operators.
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Rules and Regulations
The association advocates on behalf of the operators on issues of significance, not only to legislators and regulators, but also key decision makers across the globe. We applaud Gibraltar’s three-pronged approach (bringing together regulators, policy makers and government) in gambling policy formulation. The result is an extremely safe environment for players facilitating transparency and competitiveness. The operators, equally, enjoy a conducive business landscape.
License Registration Process
Getting registered as a gambling operator in Gibraltar is a process that can take between 2 to 6 months. The main determinants are the supporting documents needed and the type of the licence being sought. The operator filing the application must satisfy the Gambling Commissioner, appointed from the Act provisions, that it is owned by persons of good ethical standing. Additionally, the applicant must have a solid business plan and prove they have the money to run the business.
Once registered, the operator must renew their licences annually. The Gambling Commissioner conducts an elaborate and thorough due process before issuing licences. Under consideration are matters of personal character, integrity and honesty. The operator must have adequate and clean money. Operators with previous proven experience in running gambling operations generally have an easier time getting registered.
The law guiding issuance of licences is the Gibraltar Gambling Act 2005. Independent operators can obtain licences to provide all gambling products except lotteries. There are 5 different licence types for land-based operations namely (1) Bookmaker’s licence, (2) Pool promoter’s licence, (3) Gaming operator’s licence, (4) Lottery promoter’s licence and (5) Gaming machine licence.
You will see that these licence holders must a establish a physical presence in Gibraltar to allow for control and management, meaning the operator must carry out its business from an approved physical location. A licence is granted for a duration of 5 years, after which an extension has to be sought afresh. Every year, a licence fee has to be paid to validate it. For remote operations, the Gambling Commissioner also licenses a range of online betting sites operated under extremely high industry norms.
We applaud the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority for the many guidelines, schemes, and policies that support the identification and management of problem gambling. The Gambling Commissioner works with operators to inform and empower players to make better choices. For starters, no one below 16 years can participate in lotteries while no one below 18 years can participate in gambling offerings.
Operators are required to perform profiling of risk level of its customers and adopt suitable means to address glaring vulnerabilities. The unique support from Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association compels its members to adopt responsible gaming initiatives that protect consumers of the harmful effect of gaming activities. The only gap we noticed is that Gibraltar has not implemented any technical measures to prevent unlicensed operators from providing online gambling to customers located locally even though the domestic market is small.
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