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Emily D. Swoboda

New Gambling Regs for Alderney

13 July 2006

The States of Alderney announced Wednesday that it has completed a major revision of the legislative framework under which it regulates the Internet Gambling industry.

"We have over the years, like many other jurisdictions, modified our laws to cater for the very fast changing e-gambling industry," Robin Le Prevost, head of e-commerce development said in a prepared statement. "But we realized that as those changes began to add layer upon layer there was a danger that the fundamentals could become submerged. The States of Alderney, advised by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, decided to take a radical review of the structure of its entire legislative framework and concluded that a root and branch rewrite was the best way to go forward."

The new regulations retain the most of the provisions of the previous gambling ordinances, but they have been simplified to include just three key elements and will now be governed by the Gambling Commission.

The primary element is that the commission has created a single e-gambling license catering to all activities--casinos, poker rooms, lotteries and sports books--whether operated solely on the Internet, on a mobile platform or any other medium. The all-inclusive license can be obtained for a fee of £70,000 per year.

Additionally, the new regulations contain a whole schedule of transitional provisions to ensure that existing licensees would fall under the new provisions and enjoy the benefits that come with the new legislative framework, explained Andre Wilsenach, CEO of the Gambling Commission.

"In the past," Wilsenach said, "whenever there was a need to make an amendment to one of the ordinances, we had to approach the Alderney legislator, as ordinances can only be amended by the legislator. Although we were in the past very fortunate, in that the legislator dealt with requests for changes fairly swiftly (changes were generally made within a period of three months), we still felt that it is necessary to be able to respond much quicker in this fast changing environment. With most of the operational provisions (e.g. the manner in which an application is made, licensing conditions, modifications to licences, the internal controls applicable to e-gambling operations, the approval of e-gambling equipment, customers registrations, funds and protection) now contained in regulations, it will be possible to respond much quicker to new developments and changes in the industry, as the regulations are made by the commission itself."

The third element of the new regulations is the introduction of a restricted-use e-gambling license.

As an alternative to disaster-recovery legislation, in which an operator would be allowed to set up duplicate servers with real time information storage in a credible jurisdiction to prevent devastating effects from unforeseen events, restricted-use licenses are for businesses that want to operate mirrored sites from within the jurisdiction, while primarily operating elsewhere in the world.

Requirements for this license are identical to that of the full e-gambling license; however, there are special considerations on the fee and the need to incorporate an Alderney company. The license is intended to enable operators to use equipment hosted in the jurisdiction whenever required and for whatever purpose in exchange for a daily fee. If a business holding this type of license decides to operate from the jurisdiction for an extended period of time, it must obtain a full e-gambling license and pay an annual license fee.

"Whilst we have retained most of the previous provisions in the revised structure and provided for a grandfathering element to cater for our existing licensees and certificate holders, we have made many changes which we expect will find great favor with the industry," Le Prevost said. "We are absolutely confident that without compromising the global respect the jurisdiction has justifiably earned over the last fiveyears, these steps create a business friendly environment second to none and when seen in conjunction with the absence of all gambling and gaming taxes and duties and extremely low corporate taxes and no sales taxes we shall extend our advantage even further."

New Gambling Regs for Alderney is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda