In the world of online gambling, Gibraltar has always been considered a special jurisdiction. Perhaps the main reason behind this being the fact that it is the only UK overseas territory that forms part of the European Union. Or at least it did until the notion of Brexit came into play. Recently, there has been much talk about what lies in store for online gaming companies based in Gibraltar. If you are just as curious as the rest of us, we would suggest you read on as we start to unravel everything there is to know about Gibraltar gaming licence.
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Before delving into the theory of it all, we have started you off big with our top list of gaming companies in Gibraltar. If you know anything about online casinos then you'll recognize most of the names already. These are in fact some of the top casino sites out there, with enough years of experience to have built a solid reputation for themselves. Needless to say, players can rest assures that the Gibraltar casinos above are some of the safest places to wager real money at online.
Of course, there are enough casino bonuses to go around. Whether you are a new player looking to make your first deposit or an existing one, be sure to snap them up while they are hot. Just don't forget to check for the important details like wagering requirements and bonus codes. Reading any of our casino reviews will do the trick; there is no fine print with us.
Most of the gambling sites listed above have been around for quite a while now. For players who get a thrill out of trying something more novel, you'll be pleased to know that casinos become licensed regularly in Gibraltar. Most of these new online casinos have a habit of going in all guns blazing. Of course, they are looking to stand out, they have years or even decades of experience to compete with. Whilst some are lacking, others have really hit the nail on the head in meeting players needs. Here's one of the better ones that has recently been granted a Gibraltar gaming license.
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Located just off Iberia, Gibraltar has always been seen as a strategic location for offshore operators. In fact, the peninsula has been handing out gaming licences since 1998. The turning point really came about a few years later with the drawing up of the Gambling Act 2005. The regulations devised in this act are still considered the primary legislation for online gambling today. The official regulatory authority that ensures these laws are enforced is the Gambling Commissioner who falls under the Gibraltar government. Each year, a code of conduct is issued by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner to help guide companies in the gambling industry.
Whilst online gambling legislation in Gibraltar is controlled by the Commissioner, licenses are issued by the Gibraltar Licensing Authority. The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association was also set up to serve as the industry's voice. The latter is actually appointed by the Commissioner. Whilst 2008 could have seen some turmoil in the industry due to a financial crisis, Gibraltar-based gambling continued to flourish. The reason for this economy boom at the time was a combination of favourable taxation vat exemption and also enough workers to go around.
The actual blow for the country came about in 2014 with the introduction of the UK consumption tax. This meant that online casinos operating in the British markets would now have to pay 15% duty. Additionally, casino licences from whitelisted jurisdictions would no longer apply to the market and offshore companies would also need a UK Gambling Commission gaming license. Gibraltar was not the only country on the whitelist to be impacted by this. This new law also had major implications for other gaming hubs like the Isle of Man. Represented by the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association, the Iberian peninsula did fight back, claiming that this new tax went against EU law. After undergoing judicial review, the European Court of Justice passed the POC tax, deeming that UK and Gibraltar should be treated as one entity rather than single member states.
Before applying for a gambling licence, operators will need to understand the type that best suits their gambling activities. There are actually seven types that gambling operators can apply for depending on the specific gaming sector area they are targetting. We have listed them below.
Most online gambling companies tend to be most interested in applying for the last licence that deals with remote gambling. This covers all casino games online be it slots, bingo, blackjack, roulette as well as sports betting. Remote gambling operators will also need to ensure that they meet certain criteria too.
Once all of the above is in check, an application should be submitted to the Gambling Division H.M Government of Gibraltar specifically the Licensing Authority section. Once approved, as long as licence holders continue to comply with the Gambling Act, they will remain GBGA licensed for 5 years.
The country may be more favourable than other jurisdictions but becoming GBGA licensed is not free of charge either. It's not just the Gibraltar Gaming licence cost that operators need to be aware of, but also other underlying fees. Firstly unlike other licensing authorities like the MGA, there are no application fees. Operators in this jurisdiction instead pay a yearly fee which varies slightly according to the licence they hold. Here's a breakdown of this below.
In addition to this, there is also a 1% tax rate which much be paid for gross profit between £85,000 and £425,000.
It may not be the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, but when it comes to safety, the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority can be considered the next best thing. This comes as no surprise considering that the jurisdiction's Gambling Act was actually modelled on the British one. We have already got a glance at this in the requirements mentioned previously. We now take a closer look at the measures the country is taking to ensure a safe and fair environment.
Both the Gambling Commissioner and the Licensing Authority have the power to investigate and make a background check of the applicant to ensure that it satisfies all necessary requirements for the Gibraltar online gambling license. Regular audits are conducted on renewal of the licence and the commission has the right to revoke or suspend the licensee in case of misconduct and breach of some of the rules of the Gambling Ordinance 2005.
All Gibraltar casinos are required to have a complaints system in place. In fact, dissatisfied customers are encouraged to contact the casino directly first. Should the dispute remain unresolved, the next step would be to lodge a complaint through the Gambling Commissioner. Keep in mind that they will only be able to help in the cases where a player believes that a site is in breach of gambling industry legislation. They will not be able to provide support for other terms and conditions accepted with a provider. We have provided steps on how to submit a complaint below.
Once the Licensing Authority has had enough time to look into things, they may ask for further details. If a complaint warrants further investigation, a case officer will be assigned. Following an examination, the case officer will draw up a proposed determination and eventually a decision letter. The case officer will correspond with the player who submitted the complaint throughout the process. Penalties for breaches can include operators being held liable for any damages to customers as well as further fines, suspension or even having their licence revoked.
Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association licensed casinos have strict requirements to abide by. It can only be assumed that they must work with reputable game providers out there. Whilst other jurisdictions have experienced issues with piracy in the past, there is no room for error with this one. Popular game providers in the jurisdiction include NYX, Blueprint and Yggdrasil. Be it slot machines, jackpots or classic table games like poker, players can rest assured that all casino games have been RNG tested. For those who prefer live dealer games, Evolution Gaming Gibraltar is also extremely big there.
If it hasn't already been made clear, the UK Government's decision to move out of the European Union has been a huge blow for Gibraltar's online gaming industry. At the time, almost every voter on the peninsula just off Spain, opposed Brexit due to the restriction on movement of people. Being such a small country, most eGaming employees commute from Spain daily. The closure of the border stands to cause havoc for locals. In addition to this, another problem being faced is when it comes to taxes. Currently one of the main advantages of the GBGA licence is the favourable taxes in place. With new tariffs being formed post-Brexit, this could all change.
The United Kingdom has looked to soften the blow by extending free access to the UK Gambling market. This is only a temporary fix though since this agreement will remain in place until 2020. Everything else is still in the air for the small peninsula. One thing that is clear though is that if no resolution is found, the industry could see large operators moving to more favourable jurisdictions like Malta.
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