Gibraltar is one of the few remaining British overseas territories and is situated on the southernmost of the Iberian Peninsula. Its view is dominated by the Gibraltar Rock, a symbolic icon of the stability and endurance of its gambling authority, the Gibraltar Licensing Authority. The GLA was established in 2005 as the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, however it was in 2013 that it changed its licensing and regulatory procedure, to bear more similarities to the gambling laws of the UK compared to those of the European Union. Today, Gibraltar is considered one of the top gaming authorities in the world, which along with the MGA & UKGC currently regulates some of the highest rated bookmakers in the entire betting industry.
Gibraltar Licensing Authority Roles and responsibilities
The GLA takes special pride in the fact that only the very best betting companies can obtain a Gibraltar license. They are tasked with maintaining a transparent and investor friendly environment for every interested betting operator, while at the same time, regulating any licensed bookies in a strict, but fair way. Their goals can be summarized in the following list:
Focus on safety, fairness & competitiveness. The GLA along with the Gibraltar Gambling Commission enforce a strict legal framework, in accordance with the British and European Union gambling acts. This ensures that every law abiding company will receive the full support of the betting authority.
High standards for players. GLA takes into account any complaints from players and if a claim is valid, vows to take a stand in order to assist them.
Gibraltar is a major betting hub. Due to its location and importance in the betting industry, Gibraltar is right at the centre of every innovation in the industry.
High regulating standards. The Authority's focus on transparency and security, ensures that any fraudulent bookies will not be awarded with a license, while money laundering is not tolerated, under any circumstances.
Additionally, the GLA actively supports the CEN Workshop Agreement 16259:2011 on “Responsible Remote Gambling Measures” published in 2011. This is the Pan-European agreement, which aims to provide a high level of consumer protection for online players in the European Union.
Types of licenses and licensing procedure
Any bookmaker who wishes to obtain a GLA license must apply to the Gibraltar Licensing Authority. Although the GLA works together with them, it falls to GRA to judge every betting company's suitability & eligibility, while they can also decide to revoke a license, in case a bookie decides to not adhere to GLA's rules.
There are seven different types of licenses:
A bookmaker’s license
A betting intermediary’s license
A gaming operator’s license
A gaming machine license
A lottery promoter’s license
A pools promoter’s license
A remote gambling license
In order to gain a license, a betting firm must follow the steps, found at www.gibraltar.gov.gi/new/remote-gambling. Here, it is stated that the bookmaker must follow certain rules, such as: Bookie-to-bettor transparency and customer protection, Anti money laundering requirements, Gaming taxes, Codes of practice, Remote technical and operating standards. Finally, every licensed bookmaker or casino must be located in and managed directly from Gibraltar and be a able to produce a list of key personnel upon demand.
For fixed odds betting, the gaming tax is set at 1% of the turnover up to £42,500,000, with a minimum annual tax payable of £85,000. Betting exchanges are taxed on the same basis as fixed odds operators. For online casinos, the gaming tax is currently levied at 1% of the gaming yield or gross profit. The maximum and minimum cap is set at the same as in fixed odds betting.
Making a complaint
The only way to contact the Gibraltar Licensing Authority is via e-mail, at email@example.com. In order to save time, you can see which steps you should follow in the complaint form found at www.gibraltar.gov.gi/new/sites/default/files/HMGoG_Documents/CRRF%20V%201.0.5.pdf. Here you will see that you must state your personal information, the name of your bookmaker, the nature of your complaint and agree to comply with the indemnity requirements set by the authority.
Gibraltar following the Brexit
The recent ratification of the Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, by Theresa May has created increased speculation regarding Gibraltar's stature in the betting industry. The small country's economy is closely tied with gaming activities, given that they amount for 25% of its GDP. Following the EU exit many key bookmakers are considering jumping ship.
Nonetheless, despite recent remarks made after the recent Paddy Power Betfair exit, it is highly unlikely that Gibraltar will manage to fall from its current iGaming grace. The two most likely scenarios about its future, consist of an unlikely referendum for the remainder of Gibraltar in the EU (and a breakaway from Britain) and a more realistic one, that includes a new trade deal between the EU and Britain.
There are numerous reasons as to why a betting firm might choose to be licensed by the Gibraltar Licensing Authority. For starters, the mere fact that a bookie is regulated by the GLA acts as a symbol of prestige and reliability in the industry, given that only the very best are able to receive a remote license. Additionally, tax rates although certainly not insignificant, are lower compared to those imposed by the UKGC, while the GLA attention to detail, means that neither a bookie nor their customers will be able to get away with a violation of the gambling laws.
As far as players as concerned, punting on a GLA licensed bookie, means that you can rest assured that you will always receive a payout of your winnings or a sign up bonus, be able to withdraw money at any time and that your personal information will remain private. If you happen to have a complaint, you will be fully reimbursed upon contacting the authority, provided that you have a valid claim.
Gambling Division H.M Government of Gibraltar
GX11 1AA Gibraltar
TEL: 00350 20064142
FAX: 00350 20064150
Bet at the best bookmakers based in Gibraltar