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Betting in Gibraltar

Published on: 01/02/2016

Gibraltar is British territory located to the south of the Iberian Peninsula. It has a small land mass of six square kilometres with a population of approximately 30,000, making the city very heavily populated for its size.

Gibraltar’s main areas of trade are within the finance sector and tourism. The state currency used is the Gibraltar Pound. The formal language spoken is English however many citizens use Spanish as well. Many people from Spain visit Gibraltar on a daily basis and cruise ships also bring tourism to “The Rock”. There are an array of popular British retail outlets such as Marks & Spencer adding to the cities activities.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) regulates Gibraltar’s finance industry. The country became part of the EC at the same time as the UK. Gibraltar is bound by law to follow the same rules as the UK with regards to most subjects under EU regulations with the exception of certain financial constraints including VAT and CAP.

To attract businesses to its shores, Gibraltar has established very favourable laws of incorporation. A company may be formed as one limited by shares, limited by guarantee having a share capital, limited by guarantee without a share capital or as an unlimited company. There is no tax on capital gains and reporting requirements are minimal.

Gibraltar is attractive to businesses because of the favourable company incorporation laws, flexible reporting needs and the absence of capital gains tax.

Gibraltar started to provide free licences for online betting web sites in 1998. Some years later, the city state became renowned as being a hub for internet games and sportsbooks, amounting to around 20 betting companies, employing several thousand people. Thus the gambling industry became the territories primary commerce.

Gibraltar’s gambling regulations do not prohibit its citizens from placing bets via foreign-based sportsbooks. Although there are currently more than 300 local online betting gaming sites, nearly 500 web sites from all over the world welcome online wagering from Gibraltarians.

Gibraltar has an excellent telecommunications infrastructure which would be expected for a state with such a major gambling industry. The government has embarked on two separate enterprises, one with British Telecom and another with American company Verizon, in order to ensure that there communications systems are fully up to date. Among Gibraltar’s resident gaming site operators are some of the world’s most respected brands. ladbrokes and william hill both have their online bookmaking based here. In March of 2011, the Sport Betting Exchange known as betfair announced their intention to move to a Gibraltar license to save money on British gambling tax payments.

William Hill and Ladbrokes are just two of the well-known companies to have set up online sportsbooks on Gibraltar soil. Interestingly, Betfair are also proposing to obtain a licence and install their Sportsbook operations in Gibraltar in order to reduce the high tax bill currently incurred in the UK.

In 2011, the government put into place revised tax laws resulting in a 10% tax on turnover compared to the previous tax rate of 1%. The rule will only apply to new businesses and could well discourage new betting companies from relocating to Gibraltar.

There are three gambling establishments in Gibraltar, the Stakis Casino, the New Gala Casino and the Rock Hotel-Casino. As expected these venues provide games tables and slot machines. Popular activities such as Poker, American Roulette and Blackjack are also available at all of these casinos.

Gibraltar’s National Lottery began in 1947. There are two games per week and three larger draws annually. The percentage returns generated by the National Lottery are amongst the highest to be found and all gains are tax-free.

The most lucrative lottery game happens at Christmas. The annual draw offer a jackpot of around a quarter of a million pounds. Locals and outsiders alike can play by purchasing tickets for £20 each. Originally the National Lottery was created to assist with the finances of building new homes for people after the Second World War.