eThe Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) is considered one of the top tier licensing commissions for online gambling, along with similar commissions in Malta and Gibraltar. While there are not as many new online casinos, online bookmakers or online bingo sites with licences issued by the AGCC as the other commissions mentioned, there are still plenty of sites with AGCC licences.
Here you will learn all about the AGCC, what the commission does, how it serves companies that are handed an AGCC licence and how it can benefit users of any gambling site that is licenced by the AGCC.
You may have not even heard of Alderney. As a territory, it is perhaps only of interest to people in the UK (and England in particular) and France.
Alderney can be found in the English channel, as part of the Channel Islands group. It is a tiny island, only three miles long and one and a half miles wide. It is a British Crown dependency, despite it being only ten miles across the water to France and sixty miles from the south coast of England. It is English by nature, with a little French influence. It is also the most northern Channel Island, being twenty miles north of Guernsey, the largest Channel Island.
This island ‘belongs’ to the UK as once, nearly 800 years or so ago, the region of Great Britain expanded beyond the British Isles and into northern France, including Normandy. Over the years there was much fighting over control of Normandy, but eventually the British handed back control of Normandy to the French. All the Channel Islands remained under UK control, though, mainly as a base to help prevent any French invasions.
Germany took control of Alderney during the Second World War but arrived to find that all 1,500 residents had fled to Guernsey and England. Once the war was over Alderney was rebuilt as a communal farm, and eventually, the population expanded until it climbed over 2,000 in the 2000s.
Alderney and Tax
The Channel Islands are noted for their lax attitudes to tax. For taxation purposes, Alderney is considered to be part of Guernsey. Most residents are taxed at 20%, but most corporations in Alderney (and the other Channel Islands) do not pay any tax at all. There are also tax benefits as there are no demands for capital gains tax, inheritance tax, capital transfer tax or VAT.
Many companies claim (legally) that their businesses are located in the Channel Islands to benefit from these beneficial tax breaks.
Alderney and Gambling
Alderney was quick to see the opportunities offered by the rise of gambling in the last 1990s, and the opportunities offered to gamblers thanks to the internet. Like other ‘tiny’ jurisdictions with lax tax laws, Alderney saw itself as being of interest to the many fledgeling top online casinos that were seeking to jump onto the online gambling bandwagon at the time.
The territory promoted itself as the correct choice as a location for countless gambling-related businesses even though at the time it did not possess much in the way of a communication infrastructure, particular across the internet. This quickly changed though.
In May 2000 the Alderney Gambling Control Commission was created.
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission
The AGCC was set up with the understanding that it was aiming to become a worldwide leader in gambling terms, including the promotion of Alderney as a financial centre (again, due to the territory’s lax tax laws) and a hotbed for eCommerce.
The AGCC is one of the smallest gambling commissions in the world (and eWorld) with only a Chairman (currently Lord Faulkner of Worcester) and three commissioners. The commission also has an executive director, a director of operations and a director of licensing.
How to Apply for an AGCC licence
There are two types of licences available from the AGCC – a business-to-customer (B2C) licence and a business-to-business (B2B) licence.
A B2C company is one that provides business services directly to customers. This would be, for example, new UK online casinos, slots, bingo or sportsbooks. A B2B company is one that provides business services to B2C companies, such as a gambling software provider (think NetEnt, Microgaming or Playtech) or a gambling framework or white label provider, such as EveryMatrix.
A B2C licence is known as a Cat 1 licence and is for companies who deal with the registration and verification of players, thus entering into a contractual relationship with them including the management of their funds.
A B2B licence is known as a Cat 2 licence and is for companies that provide eGambling platforms including their operational management within an approved centre for hosting in Alderney or Guernsey, or any appropriate local jurisdiction anywhere in the world.
Obtaining an AGCC licence is not cheap – it costs £35,000 per annum for a business with a gambling yield under £500,000 (as of 2020) with a 50% reduction in costs for the first year. This can rise to as much as £400,000 for top online casinos with a gambling yield above £40 million per annum.
The AGCC for the players
Legislation and proper licensing are not just there to benefit the wagering companies – it is there to benefit the gamblers themselves! The whole point of a gambling licence is to make sure a casino acts properly and legally and treats its players fairly and responsibly.
To maintain their licensing online casinos must take steps to protect players and to identify potential problem gamblers. It must also prove that all its games run fairly and that it has the funds to pay players that are kept separate from their business operations.
The AGCC is not averse to revoking licences, as it did to software company Betsoft in 2013 for reasons that were never specified. Betsoft regained its AGCC licence in 2017.
The AGCC has been a major eGaming licensing provider since 2000 and is likely to remain so for years to come. If you play at any online casino or slots site with an AGCC licence, you can rest assured that you will be treated fairly, and your details kept securely.