Gibraltar Jurisdiction profile
Located at the southern most tip of Europe, and covering a land area of just over six square kilometers, Gibraltar has always been seen as a stable location in the region, even gaining the name for itself of the Rock. In this jurisdiction's 300-year history, it has earned itself a reputation as being one of the best regulated finance centers in the world, attracting many companies and start up businesses.
Gibraltar is well known for its involvement in the gaming sector, and is seen by many as one of the best regulatory bodies in the industry, with over 10% of the entire Gibraltar workforce employed by the gaming industry. Essentially, Gibraltar licenses sportsbooks, online casinos and betting exchanges, covering a wide berth of services to gamblers from around the world. Although operators pay no start up licensing fee, they are committed to an annual fee and around 1% taxation to the government.
Over the last decade, the gaming sector has flourished in Gibraltar. This began with an increase in popularity of the betting industry in the United Kingdom in the mid-1990s, and the simultaneous growth of the online gambling industry in the same time period. The first operators to show an interest in the Gibraltar jurisdiction were Victor Chandler and Ladrokes, although in no time at all, a large number of operators expressed their wish to establish a presence on the Rock. Not many of these applications were initially successful however, as from the very beginning, Gibraltar imposed strict regulations, eliminating many of those potential operators. This policy has given Gibraltar the reputation of a jurisdiction that takes its regulations very seriously.
In 2005, Gibraltar's House of Assembly updated its gaming legislation, essentially eliminating its 1958 Gaming Ordinance and ushering in a better policy. The focus is now on regulation and transparency, as well as dealing with new applications in as streamlined a way as possible. Gibraltar therefore recognizes its duty to provide licenses to potential operators who meet its strict standards.
Essentially, operators need to promote responsible gambling in many ways, including providing links from their sites to problem gambling help sites and having self-exclusion software features in place. In addition, the sites need to do all they can to prevent underage gambling and also produce a certificate relating to the integrity of the software.
Gibraltar is the only United Kingdom overseas territory that is considered part of the European Union. This fact was confirmed when Gibraltar was included in the European Economic Area and thus covered by the new UK gaming legislation that came into effect in 2005. Under the UK Gaming Act, only licensed companies that meet strict industry standards may operate within the country's borders. By being included in this law, Gibraltar-based casino operators have a distinct industry edge, allowing them access to a much broader customer base, with the added advantage of Gibraltar's distinguished reputation as a responsible gambling jurisdiction.