Gibraltar, one of the geopolitically important Mediterranean British colonies of the 20th Century. Today, the Country of Gibraltar is an oversea British territory whose citizens enjoy full British citizenship and governance. The head of state in Gibraltar is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who exercises authority in the region with the help of the Governor of Gibraltar. More so, the territory retains an internal democratic government represented by the Parliament. Gibraltar is a recognized member of the European Union, with its European parliament voting rights activated in the year 2004. Endowed with a shallow natural resource pool, Gibraltar is attractive for the aesthetic beauty of her island terrain and the rich cultural heritage of her people.
The primary sectors that drive the economy of Gibraltar include shipping and tourism, financial services industry and online gambling whose regulation is the focus of this article. Just like in her British motherland, gambling in Gibraltar is a booming business owing to the favorable tax regime and a free market. The Gibraltar gambling commission operates in a similar manner to the UK gambling commission. The core business function of this board remains to regulate, monitor and evaluate the industry with emphasis on licensing and professional practice and standards.
The Gambling Act of 2005 gives the mandate to the Gibraltar gambling commission. Headed by a gambling commissioner, the organization exercises its duty of streamlining the gambling industry as well as the issuance of gambling licenses to gambling establishments. Online and telephone gambling comprise the most popular gambling varieties. The gambling authorities insist on licensing to world renowned gambling companies with impressive and complete financial records and business plans. This measure acts as the first route to encouraging best practice in the industry.
The commission's policy on gambling operations is strict. It places high demands of accuracy and honesty on licensed operators during marketing, promotion, sponsorship and other publicity campaigns. They also require that such campaigns and services be intended and directed to adults throughout the territory. They are also obliged to censor the content on online platforms to eliminate the danger of luring minors or promoting violence.
When it comes to money matters, the commission demands that licensees must possess the financial muscle to settle outstanding and future pay-outs. This policy guards the operators against financial turmoil while ensuring that customers and players receive their winnings in a fair manner. Their levies on gaming tax apply for fixed odds as well as betting charges. Fixed odds stand at 1% of an annual turnover up to £ 42,500 000. The minimum gaming tax amount payable ranges at around £ 80,000.
Furthermore, they ensure the registration of all potential gambling clients by a collection of personal and residential data. Once registered, the Commission demands that customers receive professional service, and the operator maintains their privacy of their data. The licensee possesses full responsibility for their financial records and dealings within the territory. There are financial accountability laws in place that guide how a company in the area ought to handle its accounts. All gambling operators in Gibraltar hand submit their audited accounts to the gambling commission at the turn of the year for evaluation. This period coincides with the annual assessment and review of licenses.
The Commission remains vigilant when it comes to upholding the best practice in the industry. There is an emphasis on accountability and transparency. A code of practice binds makes licensee answerable to the authority. This strict code lays the principles of fair practice in the industry. It further facilitates its growth and development. License holders also have to ensure that the services they offer are tested and certified to international standards. Other laws enacted by the commission include anti-money laundering measures that apply to all gambling and financial institutions within the territory.