Following its big plans to freshen up the 2005 Gibraltar Gambling Act, the territory’s government has initiated the reform process by issuing a Command Paper inspired by the financial sector. Authorities have published a preliminary draft of the bill that would reform the industry by bringing in extra flexibility and expanding the types of licenses available for operators.
At the same time, the reform is expected to bring important changes regarding the best spots for servers and gaming equipment, and the introduction of more transparency and formalities in relation to regulators and authorities issuing licenses.
The Consultation Period for the Command Paper Has Begun
Consultations on the Command Paper that consists of both the Proposed Gambling Bill and a Consultation Paper have been initiated. At the same time, stakeholders will also get to give their two cents on the topic sometime in the upcoming months, but not later than the end of August. The government hopes to receive early and constructive responses.
The Gambling Division is getting ready to organize dedicated workshops and related consulting rounds together with the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association. Further talks with individual operators and sub-sectors will also be available. Eventually, the Gambling Division will release the licensing framework along with the codes of practice and the fee documents for consultation.
The “Right to Appeal” and “Approved Persons” Options
The new gambling bill is expected to bring a series of additional changes, including the introduction of the “approved persons” requirement. This requirement will ask individuals responsible for certain functions inside casinos and other similar gambling-related venues to receive approval from the regulator. At the same time, a regulatory framework related to the changes in shareholders’ control over licensed gambling operators will also be introduced.
The “right of appeal” to the upcoming Gambling Appeals Tribunal will allow the assessment of all rulings against gaming suppliers, operators, and related individuals in the industry.
New Design to Strengthen Licensing Arrangements
The new gambling act will preserve the design of the text that was replicated from the Gibraltar Financial Services Act 2019. This design is similar to the March 2016 review of the territory’s online gambling industry, and it will include all regulatory, licensing, and legislative regimes.
According to the newly drafted bill, either Gibraltar’s regulator or the licensing authority will be provided with the needed alternatives that would guarantee a correct, timely, and honest response to any licensing or regulatory contraventions. Officials are looking for a “Gibraltar style and approach” to the regulation and licensing of operators in the regulated market while promoting deeper understanding and more consistency.
As of May 23, 2022, Gibraltar counted 40 licensed gaming operators, including LC International Limited & ElectraWorks Limited, BV Gaming Ltd, 32 Red Plc, Virtual Global Digital Services Ltd, Mansion Online Casino Ltd, and Onisac Limited.