If an online casino, slots, bingo site or online bookmaker is looking for a licence (as is legally required to be able to offer gambling services online) then they are likely to approach the Gibraltar Gambling Commission if they want their site to be taken seriously. The Gibraltar Gambling Commission (GCC) is possibly the premier licence provider available for licensing in the online gambling arena. Their services are beneficial to both established and new casinos, and to the users of online gambling sites. The GCC are famed for their no-nonsense approach, unlike the ‘laisse faire’ attitude adopted by other licence providers such as Curaçao eGaming.
The UK territory of Gibraltar has become a hotbed of online gambling since the mid-1990s, with several trusted online casinos adopting this tiny region as the centre of their operations because, of course, of favourable tax regulations. What follows is an overview of the Gibraltar Gambling Commission and a detailed review of the services that the GCC provide.
Gibraltar is one of those places that most people have heard of but would be unable to place upon a map. Is it a country, a state, a county, a city or maybe even just a town? You may have heard of the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’ (in one of the gaming world’s most popular titles – Apex Legends – one of the playable characters is called Gibraltar because he is built like a rock), but have no idea where it is.
Gibraltar is a much-debated special territory that is owned by the United Kingdom, despite being based at the very, very southern-most tip of Spain. It was once an important centre for trade as to enter the Mediterranean Sea merchants had no choice but to pass Gibraltar.
In the early 1700s combined British and Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from the Spanish. In 1713 the Dutch voluntarily gave up their share of the territory and it has remained in British hands ever since. The region is tiny with an area of only 2.6 square miles, but it remains important as a centre for tourism, financial services and, of course, online gambling.
It is no secret that the government of Spain have every desire for the territory of Gibraltar to be returned to them. The people of Gibraltar were polled in 1967 and 2002 and asked if they wished to become Spanish, and on both occasions, they said no.
As well as being a territory Gibraltar is also a town, home to roughly 22,000 people. It sits at the bottom of the famous ‘rock’ – a monolithic ‘hill’ that is home to around 300 macaque monkeys.
Gibraltar and Tax
Gibraltar was once a major military base but now serves as the home for countless financial services and other companies. It thrives on tourism and it keeps all its residents extremely busy – there is hardly any unemployment within the region.
Many online casino, slots, bingo and sports betting sites moved their operations to Gibraltar in the early 2000s because of the territory’s favourable taxation rates. At one point corporation tax (the tax that companies pay as opposed to income tax, which is the tax that individuals pay) was ridiculously low, but in 2011 it was raised to ten percent. This is still an extremely favourable rate – corporation tax in the UK is 19 percent.
Gibraltar and Gambling
Gibraltar in online gambling terms is possibly the biggest in the entire world. There even exists a trade association known as the GBGA (Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association Limited) that represents the interests of all gambling providers based in the region. Some of the names you will no doubt recognise among the members of the GBGA include 888 Holding (home of the Dragonfish bingo network), Betfair, Betfred, Gala Coral, Ladbrokes, Tombola (the most popular bingo site available on the internet) and William Hill. Many of these are known as UK online casinos.
Both real-world and online gambling is permitted in Gibraltar although there is only one land-based casino available within the territory – Casino Admiral.
The Gibraltar Gambling Commission
In 1998 the government of Gibraltar passed a law which stated that online gambling companies all around the world were allowed to offer online casino games with licensing provided by them. This paved the way for the creation of the Gibraltar Gambling Commission, which was created in 2005. By then, many online gambling companies had relocated to Gibraltar, especially those that have previously opened new UK casinos.
The Gibraltar Gaming Commission has close ties with the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Many UK-facing sites have two licences – one from the UKGC for UK-based players, and one from the GCC for non-UK-based players.
If you are based anywhere in the world and you want to play at a casino with a Gibraltar Gambling Commission licence, then you can rest assured that the casino you are dealing with is a serious enterprise where you are very likely to be treated fairly.
Submitting a Complaint
Players who are considering submitting a complaint to the GGC should make themselves aware of the organization’s complaints procedures. The organization will always advise that players first attempt to have the issue sorted by the casino in which they have been playing, before turning to them for a resolution.
If an issue is left unresolved and the player has exhausted any potential options with the casino, they should then refer to the guidelines for complaints submissions at the GGC, which begins with the filling out of the Complaint Resolution Request Form. Players must make their complaint as early as possible and keep all evidence about the issue, to make it as easy as possible for the GGC to investigate the matter, and to potentially aid the player and the casino is coming to a fair resolution.
How to Apply for a GCC Licence
Before an online casino can apply for a license with the GGC, they will need to start by proving that they have established themselves as a presence within this market. They also need to prove that they have a good reputation, including honest business practices. The GGC looks for reliability in the casinos that they license, and this is something that bodes well for players who might be looking to support GGC casinos.
All applications must come complete with business plans, and these should be both realistic and detailed. While many casinos might be drawn to Gibraltar because of their very low tax rates, obtaining a license from this organization is not easy, which means that less-than-reputable establishments will struggle to take advantage of the benefits offered.
The Gibraltar Gambling Commission not only has strict regulations for applying with a license, but they also require that GGC casinos adhere to certain standards to keep their license. This means that players will benefit from the knowledge that when they are playing in a GGC casino, they are playing within an establishment that they can trust.
The GCC for the Players
If you have a problem with any gambling site licensed by the GCC, then simply contact them and they should be able to help you. Unlike other licence providers (the UKGC, Curaçao eGaming) the GCC does not have a reputation for ignoring customer communication.
It is easy to see why the Gibraltar Gambling Commission has developed such a fine reputation for the provision of licences to serious enterprises who know how to treat their clientele. In short, if you want to set up a ‘dodgy’ online casino then you DO NOT apply for a GCC licence, as you will be swiftly found out.
With so many big enterprises settling upon a GCC licence, you can be assured that when you play at any site licensed by the GCC, then you are dealing with a serious enterprise.
View our list of the most popular GGC casinos.