Gibraltar Licensing Authority (GLA)
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located to the south of Spain on the Iberian Peninsula. With an area of just 26 square miles, Gibraltar enjoys low taxes and zero VAT, making it an attractive place for online gambling companies to put down roots. Online gambling is major contributing factor to Gibraltar's economy, alongside tourism and financial services.
The Gibraltar Licensing Authority operates in partnership with the Gambling Commissioner under the Ministry of Finance, and is regulated in accordance with the Gibraltar Gambling Act of 2005.
Quality, not quantity
The GLA is considered one of the more difficult regulators for operators to obtain a license from, and even states on its website that it "traditionally only considers blue chip companies" that already have a reputable history of gambling activities in other jurisdictions. Nevertheless, it doesn't adhere to this religiously, and the jurisdiction will still consider start-ups as long as they have appropriate funding and meet the necessary requirements.
At the time of writing, only 46 companies can boast a license from Gibraltar, including online casinos and game providers. The authority prefers to keep the list deliberately small to maintain high standards and a competitive market.
The GLA states that its mission is to provide properly regulated and licensed facilities which are fair, secure and transparent while also taking into account the need for player protection and social responsibilities.
The authority outlines many guidelines for operators pertaining to procedures regarding advertising, the payment of prize money/winnings, Anti-Money Laundering and Responsible Gambling to mention but a few. Companies wishing to obtain a license need to prepare themselves to provide a clear business plan, effective policies and be completely transparent about the source of their funding. Licensees must also display how they plan to contribute to the economy of Gibraltar, and as one of the main aims of the regulator is to prevent crime within gambling, those with any criminal history or associations need not apply. Remote gambling operators and their products must also be tested and certified as compliant with the regulatory standards by a number of approved independent test houses.
If players wish to submit a complaint about an operator, they must do so in accordance with the The Gambling Commissioner's advice to complainants. Other than in certain special circumstances, the player should first direct their complaint to the operator in question, as each is required to have a process in place to address complaints and disputes. Exceptions to this might include complaints regarding gross misconduct, dishonesty or corruption by management of the gambling company.
In order to submit a complaint, a Complaint Resolution Request Form is available to download from the website. This must be completed with as much relevant information as possible before submitting by e-mail to email@example.com. It can be completed electronically, but the last page must be printed and physically signed before attaching it to the submission.
If the operator has a license from Gibraltar and also from the UK, and the complaint is regarding remote gambling that has taken place in the UK, the operator is required to deal with the complaint according to UK regulations.
How to check a license
As mentioned, the number of operators licensed by Gibraltar is small in comparison to other authorities. You can find a list of those companies, each with a link to a list of brands they are permitted to operate, on the main page of the GLA website.
As specified in the GLA codes of practice, all operators must have procedures in place to enable players to self-exclude, as well as set limits on how much they deposit and how much time is spent gambling. There is unfortunately no way to exclude from all Gibraltar operators at the same time.
Gibraltar Licensing Authority
Address: Gambling Division, H.M Government of Gibraltar,Europort, Suite 812 & 813, GX11 1AA, Gibraltar
Tel: 00350 20064142