Guernsey, also known as the Bailiwick of Guernsey, is located in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. It is a British Crown dependency.
Guernsey also includes the islets of Sark, Alderney, Herm, Jethou, Brecqhou, Lihou and Burhou. While it is not part of the UK (or the European Union), residents of Guernsey are considered full British citizens. Together with the Bailiwick of Jersey, it makes up the Channel Islands.
The island is divided into two geographical areas. The first is known as the Haut Pas, which is a high southern plateau. The second is known as Bas Pas, which is a low-lying northern region. While the Bas Pas tends to be more industrialized and residential, Haut Pas is known as the more rural section of the island.
Tourism is a popular industry in Guernsey. Two of the more notable features are the deepwater harbor in St Peter Port and the lighthouse facility on the Casquets.
Guernsey is divided into ten parishes. They are:
Much of the island’s income comes from insurance, fund management and banking. Tourism, horticulture and manufacturing also contribute. Guernsey has become a popular offshore finance center due to light taxes.
The island produces its own banknotes and sterling coinage. Scottish banknotes, as well as UK and English coinage, are commonly accepted currency.
As of 2007, the population of Guernsey was estimated to be 65,573. The primary ethnic groups are either Norman-French or British, but Latvian and Portuguese can also be found.
English is the dominant language, while the Norman language of Guernesiais is spoken by about 2% of the population. French was the official language of the island until the early twentieth century.
National animals include the Guernsey cow and the donkey. The Guernsey cow is known for its rich milk and distinctive-tasting beef.
Guernsey Gambling Laws
Gambling is legal throughout Guernsey. This extends to casinos, sports betting, lottery, and even lesser events like Cinema Racing and Crown and Anchor.
In 2002, the Guernsey Gambling Control Commission was established to regulate casino gambling and prevent financial crime. It was also created in anticipation of a casino being constructed at the St Pierre Park Hotel.
CI Traders had been given permission to build the casino, but the chairman of the company eventually wanted to scale down plans from 25 million pounds to around 15 million pounds. This request was rejected, and the casino was never completed.
Although there are no casinos on Guernsey, casino gambling is still technically legal.
In 2006, the government of Guernsey assisted the United States in seizing $7 million dollars deposited on the island by William Scott, an illegal gambling kingpin. In all, Scott has hidden $10 million on the island.
In 2006, it was also decided that bookmakers in Guernsey would be charged higher licensing fees but be allowed to operate on Sundays.
The following gambling laws have been enacted in Guernsey:
- Gambling (Guernsey) Law, 1971
The following gambling ordinances have also been enacted in Guernsey:
- Slot Machines Ordinance, 1973
Guernsey Online Gambling
Guernsey and Alderney reached an agreement to allow e-gambling companies based in Alderney to relocate to Guernsey, while still remaining under the control of the Alderney Gambling Commission. At the time of the agreement, Guernsey stated that it had no intention of competing with Alderney’s online gaming industry.
Cinema Racing in Guernsey
Cinema Racing involves showing films of horses or other races and selling tickets prior to the beginning of each race. Holders of winning tickets receive a prize in keeping with their stake. According to Guernsey law, this form of betting is lawful and not considered “pool betting” under the Gambling (Guernsey) Law of 1971.
These events are legal only when promoted on behalf of a society designed for:
- Charity purposes
Crown and Anchor in Guernsey
Crown and Anchor is a popular dice game. The game is played using a cloth and three dice. Each of the six faces on each die, as well as the cloth, are marked with one of the following: Heart, Diamond, Spade, Club, Crown or Anchor.
To begin, players place their wagers on the cloth, laying it on the square which they think will win. The person acting as banker then rolls the three dice. If the symbol you bet on comes up on one die, then you win even money. A pair of symbols pays twice the bet, while three-of-a-kind pays three times the wager. All bets on losing squares are collected by the banker.
The game descended from Backgammon, and game which dates back to the Roman Empire. This dice game has remained popular throughout sections of Europe, particularly the Channel Islands. It can be found at various events and shows around the island.
The Guernsey Lottery first appeared in 1971 and later merged with the Jersey Lottery in 1975 to form the Channel Islands Lottery. Initially run on a traditional draw basis, it switched to a Scratch Card Lottery in 2004. At any given time, there are two scratch card draws running at the same time. In most cases, prizes range from a free scratch card to 20,000 pounds.
The Association of Guernsey Charities benefit from The Christmas Lottery, which is done on a half draw, half scratch basis. In 2006, over 130,000 pounds were donated to charity through this lottery. Tickets can be purchased in Alderney, Guernsey and Sark.
In 2006, Jersey began calling for the UK National Lottery to be extended to the Channel Islands. In 2007, it was reported that the Channel Islands Lottery was preparing to join the UK National Lottery. As of this writing, however, it has yet to happen.
United Kingdom Gambling
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