Remote gaming from Gibraltar
All gambling operations in Gibraltar require licensing under the Gambling Act 2005 (“the Act”). Remote Gambling licences, including for telephone and Internet betting, are issued by the Licensing Authority. The Gambling Commissioner, appointed under the provisions of the Act, is granted powers to ensure that licensees conduct their operations in accordance with their licenses and maintain the good reputation of Gibraltar.
The Licensing Authority will only consider licensing blue chip companies with a proven track record in gambling, licensed in a reputable jurisdiction, of good financial standing and with a realistic business plan. Licences are generally difficult to obtain.
The licensee shall ensure that all advertising, promotion and sponsoring activity of whatever type and through whatever medium (including the Internet) with regard to the gambling activities shall be truthful and accurate. It shall be exclusively targeted at adult players and shall therefore not be designed to appeal in any way to minors. Licensees shall ensure that such Internet websites as are used to advertise, promote and/or operate its gambling activities shall not include links to other sites with violent or immoral content or that may be designed for access by minors. The licences are issued on the basis that the advertising and promotion of gambling activities can only be directed to citizens of nations in which it is not illegal for such activities to be undertaken and that the licensee will not provide gambling activities to any person where the provision of such services by the licensee would be illegal under the applicable law.
Payout of prize monies
The licensee will at all times have adequate financing available to pay all current and reasonably estimated prospective obligations in respect of prize payouts and to ensure there is adequate working capital to finance ongoing operations. The licensee will pay winnings and account balances to registered players in accordance with clearly established arrangements agreed to with the customer.
Customer privacy and data protection
Licensees are required by the Licensing Authority to obtain at least the following basic personal information with regard to all prospective customers. This shall include full name, residential address, and date of birth. Upon obtaining the required information and completing any due diligence arising there from, the licensee shall be entitled to deal with the customer as a registered player.
For fixed odds betting operations gaming tax is currently levied as from 1st April 2005 at 1% of the turnover up to £42,500,000 of annual turnover with the gaming tax capped at 425,000 per annum, with a minimum annual tax payable of £85,000. Betting exchanges are currently taxed on the same basis as fixed odds operations. For Internet casinos gaming tax is currently levied at 1% of the gaming yield or gross profit. The maximum and minimum cap is the same as for fixed odds betting.
Accounts and audit
The bank accounts into which any customers, funds, stakes, wagers, prizes or other monies are received, held or paid out from shall be controlled by the company. The operation of any credit card merchant account used in the course of the business shall be fully and effectively controlled by the company. No bank account or credit card merchant account, nor the receipt, processing, holding and clearance of customer funds and credit card transactions, shall be maintained by the licensee in a jurisdiction other than Gibraltar, or in a Gibraltar licensed institution without the prior approval of the Licensing Authority. The licensee shall be required to produce audited accounts to the Licensing Authority each year during the licence period and maintain its financial records in accordance with the applicable law from time to time. The licensee shall also be required to meet all its accounts and filing requirements as set out in the Companies Act, the Companies (Accounts) Act and Companies (Consolidated Accounts) Act and any other applicable legislation.
The licensee shall at all times be effectively controlled and managed from Gibraltar. The licensee shall be required upon request by the Licensing Authority to produce lists of key personnel (with CVs or such other information as is reasonably appropriate) including shareholders, directors and executive managers involved in the management and operation of the licensee's business in Gibraltar. The licensee hereby agrees that the control of the entire business of the licensee will be exercised in Gibraltar, so that, inter alia, but without limitation to the generality of the foregoing, the bank accounts into which any customer’s funds, stakes, wagers, prizes or other monies are received, held or paid out from shall be controlled by the licensee. The operation of any credit card merchant account used in the course of the business shall be fully and effectively controlled by the licensee.
Codes of practice
The Gambling Commissioner is responsible for drawing up and issuing codes of practice as to good practice in the conduct of their undertakings by licensees, and to ensure that licensees conduct their undertakings in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The licensee agrees to be bound by any code of practice issued by the Gambling Commissioner from time to time.
The generic code
The code of practice titled 'The Generic Code' is intended to be ‘interpretive guidance’ to the Gibraltar gambling industry in respect of the provisions of the Act, and outline, for development, a fair and transparent regulatory framework within which licensees will be required to operate.
Anti money laundering requirements
The Anti-Money Laundering Code of Practice is ‘interpretive guidance’ to the Gibraltar gambling industry in respect of the requirements of the Act, the Gibraltar Crime (Money Laundering and Proceeds) Act, and the 3rd EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive. This code applies to all financial transactions associated with defined gambling activities undertaken under the authority of a Gibraltar gambling licence.
Remote technical and operating standards
The purpose of the Remote Technical and Operating Standards is to offer more detailed guidance to Gibraltar’s remote gambling industry on meeting the broader policy requirements of Gibraltar’s regulatory framework. This document includes technical, responsible gambling and other operating guidelines for Gibraltar’s remote gambling industry.
Remote gambling licensees must ensure that their gambling products and services have been tested and certified as compliant with Gibraltar’s regulatory model and standards. Certain independent test houses have been approved by the Gibraltar Licensing Authority to carry out this function.
Customer complaints regarding breaches of licence conditions