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Gibraltar Regulatory Authority: White-listed Internet Gambling Licensing Jurisdiction

26 December 2010 by Devon Chappell

gibraltar-regulatory-authorityThe Gibraltar Regulatory Authority has been in the news of late, having changed their taxation policies covering internet betting sites, and we couldn’t think of a better time to shed some light on this premiere online gambling jurisdiction. Whitelisted by the UK Gambling Commission, many of the operators licensed in Gibraltar are some of the biggest players in the UK online gambling scene, not to mention throughout all of Europe and the global internet betting industry.

Gibraltar is known within the industry as being one of the strictest jurisdictions and one of the more difficult places to obtain a gaming license period. Although a relatively smaller number of licensees have the honor to call Gibraltar home (just under twenty at the time of publication), this is in no part a reflection of a lack of interest in Gibraltar as a formidable regulatory jurisdiction. If anything, with their reasonable tax rates (still reasonable despite a recent tenfold increase), Gibraltar is one of the most sought after gaming jurisdictions.

The fact of the matter is that the Gibraltar Licensing Authority (Gambling Division, Ministry of Finance) is highly selective about which gaming operators are bestowed with licenses, and therefore subject to regulations imposed by the Gambling Commissioner. Only those blue chip companies in excellent financial standing and with proven track records in the gambling industry are even considered for a gaming license approval.  The approval process is a rigorous one indeed, in which executive officers of the company must meet very high standards of integrity and probity.

GibraltarGamingLicenses

Forget online gambling, I wanna use my bankroll to go scuba diving in Gibraltar!

All operators are required to operate under a fair and transparent regulatory framework and meet the Regulatory Authority’s Code of Practice, not the least of which includes the use of an independently tested RNG software platform and submission of certificates prepared by approved testing facilities, thus ensuring the fairness of casino games being offered to players. Gibraltar’s Approved Testing Facilities are listed on the Regulatory Authority website and include Technical Systems Testing (click to see what OCS has to say about TST), eCOGRA (one of the best, if you ask us), iTech Labs, Gaming Associates and Gaming Laboratories International.

Ongoing regulatory provisions mandated under the Gambling Act 2005 (superseding the Gaming Act and Gambling Tax Act) are enforceable by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, which is – in turn – the Gambling Commissioner (Phil Brear). In the interest of players, principle regulatory and licensing conditions include the following:

Advertising Guidelines: This simply amounts to meeting responsible advertising conditions, which include the abidance of truthful and accurate advertising, as well as marketing that does not appeal to minors.

Payout of Prize Monies: Operators will maintain adequate financing at all times and will pay out players in accordance with posted terms and conditions. In other words, stalled payouts are not tolerated.

Customer Privacy and Data Protection: Due diligence is required for approving every new player account, while minimum personal information must be appropriately safeguarded. In essence, personal information is not to be shared with third parties or inappropriately stored.

Accounts and Audit: Audited financial records must be supplied to the Licensing Authority, while all bank accounts and credit card merchants must be maintained by the operator within Gibraltar. Operators must also supply players with reasonable access to game results as well as full financial transaction statements made with a players account.

The Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner also requires all licensees to have a complaints procedure in place and available for all players. As is the standard protocol with online casino complaints, players are advised to initiate dispute resolutions with the operator firsthand, followed by third-party dispute resolution if available. The Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner does indeed have the power to enforce resolutions determined by third-party operators, and in cases where no resolution has been made, has the power to mediate directly. Players must fill out a Complaint Resolution Request Form, which will be referred directly to the Commissioner.

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