Gibraltar, the British Territory known for its gaming-friendly government and regulations, is undertaking a major overhaul of its Gambling Act. The revision of the rules governing how gambling operators operate, looks to have a huge impact on remote operators by requiring a physical presence on the island for the first time.
The Gambling Act overhaul is part of a larger effort by authorities in Gibraltar to bring their corner of the gambling world into the mainstream and out of the grey market. Or, if you’re more comfortable using bureaucratic buzz words, a reformed Gambling Act would allow lawmakers to, “compartmentalise policies and regulatory requirements into one objective without thinking too hard about how it might affect the others”.
Lawmakers are organizing a draft of the new rules around five basic concepts including,preserving confidence of gaming markets; protecting players; eliminating links to organized crime; fair and responsible gambling; and the greater needs of Gibraltar and its reputation. Though never a haven for illegal activity, Gibraltar has long been a territory that was known as being operator-friendly. That era of loosey-goosey gaming regulations is clearly coming to an end.
The most significant piece of the overhaul is a provision that would require Gibraltar-licensed operators to maintain a physical presence on the island. Though the specifics of what a “physical presence” on the island would look like are vague, it seems as though all of them will have to have at least an office in Gibraltar, though maybe they’ll be able to have their servers somewhere else.
Lawmakers have until the end of August to review the draft proposal before it takes the next steps into becoming law.