Gibraltar has been one of the most preferred destinations for online gambling companies since the Gibraltar Gambling Commission began issuing licenses and regulating the online betting industry there in 1998. Unlike some countries such as Costa Rica and Panama, Gibraltar’s licensing process holds prospective businesses to a much higher standard. Companies need to do much more than simply pay a fee and set up shop. They need solid business plans and financial backing among other things. Background checks are more intensive and regulations are enforced with much more zeal. This is why Gibraltar betting sites are some of the best in the world.
Online betting has been very profitable for Gibraltar. The industry contributes greatly to the economy and it employs a lot of residents. It is estimated that between 20% and 25% of the GDP is due to gambling. While the effects of Brexit are yet to be seen, there are legitimate concerns that this will have an adverse effect on their online betting industry.
Who are the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority and what is its Purpose?
The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority was the body which oversaw the licensing and regulations that governed gambling in Gibraltar. This entity was placed under the Gambling Division of the Government of Gibraltar which now assumes the licensing and regulatory duties under the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. It is actually the Gibraltar Licensing Authority which now issues gambling licenses and oversees regulatory matters. They assess the applicants and they are known to be very strict when considering the suitability of candidates. Applicants must show a strong business plan, be in excellent financial standing and have experience with betting operations. The role of the Licensing Authority doesn’t stop there. Once approved, online betting companies are closely monitored and they face regular audits. The Licensing Authority also makes sure that online gambling companies abide by the rules that apply to advertising and that the operators follow strict data-protection guidelines.
There are seven types of gambling licenses that companies may apply for. A bookmaker’s license, a betting intermediary’s license, a gaming operator’s license, a gaming machine license, a lottery promoter’s license, a pools promoter’s license, and a remote gambling license. In each case, the applicants must show beyond a doubt that they are capable and able to operate according to the required conditions.
The Gibraltar Licensing Authority doesn’t mess around. Their tight grip on the online betting industry results in well-run businesses that have earned the gambling public’s trust.
How can a Player Submit a Complaint for Gibraltar Regulated Bookmakers?
One of the first things that any consumer should do is to try to resolve their dispute directly with the gambling company involved. Sometimes the dispute cannot be settled to everyone’s satisfaction and the complaint needs to go to a higher authority. This is where the Gibraltar Gambling Commission comes into play. Complainants are advised to follow the advice that is set out in the Gambling Commissioner’s advice to complainants. It is basically a step-by-step guide to help people through the complaints process. Complaints must be made in writing or by email using the “Complaint Resolution Request Form” which is free to download. It can be emailed to email@example.com or sent by post to Gambling Division H.M Government of Gibraltar, Europort, Suite 603, GX11 1AA Gibraltar. Complaints cannot be taken over the telephone.
As with any formal complaint process, aggrieved punters are urged to include as much detailed information as possible and be patient. The process is not going to be resolved overnight.
How are Disputes Moderated Here?
When a complaint reaches the Gambling Commission, punters can rest assured that it will receive fair consideration. The authority will investigate and determine whether or not the sportsbook has abided by the Gambling Act of 2005. If it is determined that the sportsbook was not operating up to standard then their license may be revoked. It is in the best interest of all parties that these disputes are settled fairly because it is a matter of public trust which is taken very seriously. If the sportsbook is found to have been acting in a manner that is consistent with the regulations then the complaint is dismissed. It should be noted that sportsbooks that fall under Gibraltar’s jurisdiction are not likely to breach any laws over a few dollars. It simply isn’t worth it considering what is at stake. Still, consumers who feel that they have a legitimate complaint are absolutely within their rights to seek a remedy through the Gambling Commission.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Gibraltar?
Sports betting and other forms of gambling are legal in Gibraltar. In fact, over 10% of people employed are working in the internet gambling industry. With the industry being responsible for such a great percentage of Gibraltar’s GDP, any changes that negatively impact the legality of online gambling in Gibraltar could have devastating effects on the economy.
What are the Requirements of a Gibraltar Sportsbook License?
In order to operate a sportsbook in Gibraltar, applicants must go through a rigorous process. A prospective sportsbook operator must apply for the proper license(s) and these gambling licenses are generally very hard to obtain due to strict requirements that need to be met. For starters, unless you have experience operating a profitable and reputable gambling operation, you probably won’t even through the front door so to speak. Usually, only “blue-chip” companies with a proven track record in gambling operations within a reputable jurisdiction are considered. These companies must have an excellent financial posture and offer up a very strong business plan.
If a company can prove their worthiness, they must then agree to abide by the strict rules that apply to every aspect of gambling including advertising standards, financial transparency, privacy controls, paying taxes, anti-money laundering requirements and general codes of conduct. These are just a few requirements that sportsbooks must abide by. Failure to adhere to any of these regulations can easily lead to the license being forfeited.
To demonstrate how tough it is to get a license in Gibraltar, there are only 33 betting companies operating legally. A quick read of the names reveals some of the top brand names in online gambling. It is safe to say that if a sportsbook is licensed in Gibraltar then it is not a fly-by-night operation.