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Online Gaming

Gibraltar itself is a unique proposition in the gaming industry.

Online Gaming & Gambling Law

Hassans’ industry-leading team of online gaming and gambling lawyers has been at the forefront of the development of the industry from its inception in the early 1990’s.  Since that time, Hassans has assisted countless clients in respect of the various components of the industry (B2C, B2B, etc) in relation to licensing applications, ongoing regulatory compliance, as well as in respect of all corporate and commercial matters arising from activity in this space

Gibraltar Gaming and Gambling FAQ

What is 'online gaming'?

Online gaming is the umbrella term used to describe all types of gambling or betting conducted via the internet or other forms of electronic communication networks. In fact, initially this industry started out with betting-by-phone but, thanks to prescient legislation enacted in Gibraltar, the jurisdiction was able to quickly capitalise on the explosion in online gaming at the end of the 1990s.

Popular forms of online gaming include online casino games (such as slots and online versions of traditional table casino games), online poker and sports book operators (online versions of high street bookmakers where odds are given, and bets taken).

Additional forms of online gaming began to emerge, including online bingo, online lotteries and lottery betting. In many cases the online gaming operators in Gibraltar tend to offer a combination of all of the above options to players.

What's the name of the Gambling regulator in Gibraltar?

There are, in law, two authorities relevant to online gaming and gambling in Gibraltar. The gaming licence issuing authority is, as set out in Gibraltar’s Gambling Act 2005, the Minister responsible for Gambling.  Upon issue of a licence, the ongoing regulatory oversight role is discharged by the Gambling Commissioner and his regulatory team.  Although the two functions are distinct in law, both departments work closely together, leveraging synergies and making the process both of applying for and operating under a relevant licence is as efficient as possible.

What gambling and online gaming activities are licensable in Gibraltar?

The gaming element of licensing in Gibraltar includes all types of casino games, poker, slots, machine gaming and all other number games without limitation. For betting activity, operators will require a separate licence – this is commonly the case for online, or remote, operators.

Can I set up an online lottery in Gibraltar?

The only lottery that currently can be offered in Gibraltar is the Gibraltar Government lottery and other small bazaar, fete, and fairground style lotteries.  Operators offering betting on a range of international lotteries on the other hand can and are established in Gibraltar.

Can I set up a land-based gambling operation in Gibraltar?

Yes. Under the Gibraltar Gambling Act 2005 it is possible to apply for the following: a bookmaker’s license; a pool promoter’s licence; a gaming operator’s licence; a lottery promoter’s licence; and a gaming machine licence.

How long does it take to obtain a gaming licence in Gibraltar?

The process can take between two to six months.  The length of time an application takes is dictated largely by the quality of the application and all supporting documentation.

What are the Anti-money laundering requirements placed on Gibraltar gaming companies?

All Gibraltar gaming/gambling licensees are required to comply with strict anti-money laundering legislation and associated guidance as well as with the Codes of Practice issued separately by the Gambling Commissioner.  The main piece of legislation in this context is the Proceeds of Crime Act 2015.

What does the Gibraltar gaming anti-money laundering Code of Practice provide for?

The Code of Practice issued by the Gambling Commissioner in respect of gaming in Gibraltar provides an outline of the methods used to launder money, key provisions relating to requirements for monitoring, know your customer requirement, training etc., as well as additional provisions in respect of remote/land-based operations specifically.

Is social gaming regulated in Gibraltar?

No.  There is currently no legal definition of social gaming in Gibraltar, but it is an area which is closely monitored.

What are the advantages of setting up a gaming/gambling operation in Gibraltar?

The main attractions of Gibraltar remain in place:-

  1. First tier licensing and regulatory framework, robust yet with a regulator who is acknowledged to be accessible and pragmatic.
  2. Competitive business environment.
  3. Strong rule of law.
  4. A government fully supportive of innovation and entrepreneurship, whilst committed to maintaining Gibraltar’s international reputation, including ensuring the highest standards of responsible gambling.

Gibraltar offers state-of-the art digital infrastructure, with high speed fibre connectivity connecting it to Europe and Asia, plus a ready-made and highly-experienced workforce fully versed in all facets of online gaming, including legal, financial and accounting, banking, licensing, HR, IT and other professions.

Online gaming licenses from the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner are highly respected worldwide.

History of remote/online gaming and gambling in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is one of the world’s leading jurisdictions in the online gaming industry and a globally recognised innovator in this field. Hassans has been closely associated with pioneering these developments.

Our firm was the first to recognise the massive potential of this industry early on, when online gaming was very much a new and unregulated sector. Thanks to our firm’s foresight, however, and working in close cooperation with Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, we helped to lay the regulatory framework on which Gibraltar’s gaming industry was built, serving as a blueprint for other jurisdictions worldwide.

Our Senior Partner, James Levy CBE QC, procured the very first remote gaming license in Gibraltar for Ladbrokes (now a brand owned by Entain), the first of many gaming companies to set up operations on the Rock. Today a large majority of the world’s leading brands in online gaming, both gaming operators and software providers, either have their headquarters, or at least have a significant local presence, in Gibraltar.

In addition, the jurisdiction continues to attract new entrants within the online gaming sector with a deep, readily accessible pool of industry-specific talent, which includes developers, marketers as well as the industry recognised legal experts at Hassans.

Why Hassans?

Hassans has been a key driver of the online gaming industry in Gibraltar since its inception and we continue to advise many of the world’s largest, industry-leading gaming operators. Our specialist gaming team can successfully guide you through the Gibraltar gaming licence application process, while also advising on a diverse range of issues including tax, insurance, banking, mergers and acquisitions, data protection and employment matters.

Peter Montegriffo QC is the only Gibraltar gaming lawyer to be ranked in Chambers and Partners’ Gaming & Gambling in Global-wide rankings as a Band 1 lawyer. The team also consists of Andrew Montegriffo (Senior Associate) and Louise Federico (associate) who have extensive knowledge of the area.

Taxation of Gibraltar-licensed gaming companies

Gibraltar offers an attractive tax environment from which gaming companies can operate.  With corporate tax set at a flat rate of 10% and Gaming Duty set at 0.15% of a B2C operator’s gross gaming or betting yield. B2B operators do not pay gaming duty. Gibraltar is also outside VAT and offers significant advantages to operators as a result.  Click the link to read more about Tax in Gibraltar

Technology, Telecoms and Media

Gibraltar’s robust communications infrastructure, business-friendly government, competitive taxation and highly skilled workforce are just some of the reasons why the jurisdiction plays host to a number of other key businesses in the technology, telecoms and media sector, both locally and internationally. The jurisdiction also enjoys a thriving start-up culture as well as close connections to other key start-up hubs in the US, UK, Europe, Israel and Asia.

Once again, Hassans’ experience in these matters comes from its long history in helping tech businesses get established on the Rock. Our firm offers a comprehensive client service allowing you to take full advantage of our unparalleled local expertise, coupled with our experience working across numerous jurisdictions worldwide. Contact us today to find out more.

 

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