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Alderney Gambling Control Commission: Whitelisted Online Casino Regulator

5 January 2011 by Devon Chappell

A Beacon of Light for the Online Gambling Industry: Alderney Gambling Control Commission

Beacon of Light for the Online Gambling Industry: Alderney Gambling Control Commission

As part of our ongoing series reviewing the top online gambling jurisdictions in business today (not to mention the top online casinos), OCS now presents a review of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission – a UK whitelisted jurisdiction licensing some of leading names in the internet gaming industry, including several premiere online casino software developers, such as WagerWorks, Playtech, Virtue Fusion, Pinnacle, Gala and Blue Square Gaming.

The British Channel Island of Alderney, which is just 10 miles to the west of France and the closest channel island to the south coast of England, is a self-governing British Crown dependency (part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey). Not being a part of the UK, nor a member of the EU, Alderney has its closest ties with the Channel island of Guernsey, with whom a modern telecommunications network and hosting facilities are shared, and where the Guernsey Financial Services Commission is known for providing a strictly regulated financial industry. In fact, the Channel Islands are now being recognized as one of the world’s leading offshore financial centers, most recently receiving recognition for eCommerce.

Alderney is taxed according to Guernsey taxation laws and also uses the same laws regulating Guernsey’s banking, insurance and investment fields. Alderney, however, is it’s own legislative governmental entity and has it’s own laws, which in the case of online gambling regulations, namely consists of The Gambling Law 1999 (as amended), the Alderney eGambling Ordinance 2009 and the Alderney eGambling Regulations 2009. All three documents – as well as other amended regulations dating recently as 2010 – can be viewed on the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) website.

The AGCC was founded in May of 2000, and is now considered one of the premiere first-tier regulators in the global online gambling industry. Whitelisted by the UK Gambling Commission, the main objective of the AGCC (as stated on their website) is to “provide a regulatory environment that meets world-class standards and thereby protects the reputation of Alderney and attracts world-class operators.” To say that Alderney is picky about which operators are deemed “world-class” is an understatement. Of the 2,000+ online gambling sites in business today (which are owned by approximately 350 companies), only a very small percentage are tightly regulated. As such, the AGCC lends itself to attracting a relatively small number of operators, all of which are poised to become, or, are already leaders in the online gaming industry.

Just how the Alderney Gambling Control Commission goes about accomplishing the above-stated mission is by ensuring three main objectives. These are: 1) Ensuring fair wagers are provided in an honest and transparent online wagering environment, 2) Keeping money laundering, illicit funding and criminal activities out of online gambling, and 3) Regulating gambling activities so as to protect the interests of players, i.e., fraud prevention, and protecting the young and vulnerable. Working closely with the UK Gambling Commission, Nevada Gaming Control Board and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Alderney imposes the most thorough of due diligence and probity when investigating licensee applicants and enforcing ongoing regulations.

The AGCC maintains an open channel for filing complaints and publishes a Customer Complaints procedure on their website. Players are advised to lodge initial complaints/disputes with the online casino operator, as well as the software provider, and are encouraged to file complaints with the AGCC if the complaint has not been resolved nor dealt with in an acceptable manner. Under Regulation 238, all registered customers of Alderney licensees are entitled to lodge a formal complaint and arbitration proceedings. The Commission itself will attempt to arbitrate disputes, which if not resolved to either parties liking, will be passed on to the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission for a ruling. If said ruling is still not adequate for either party, an appeal can be made back to the Commission or the Court of Alderney against the Chief Executive’s ruling, at which time a Hearing will take place.

In other words, Alderney uses a “chain of command” to provide a highly functional arbitration process for resolving disputes. While the whole idea of licensing responsible operators is to keep disputes from happening in the first place, misunderstandings – which are few and far between – are inevitable. From a player’s perspective, it should be reassuring there are such lines of communication open for all those who wager at Alderney regulated online casinos and betting sites powered by Alderney licensed software owners.

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