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Gibraltar prepares to modernise its gaming legislation

Photo by Eyleen Gomez.

The Gibraltar Government has issued a Command Paper with a draft proposal to repeal and replace the Gambling Act 2005, replacing it with modern legislation better suited to a fast-changing industry.

The consultation period will last until the end of August 2022 and the Gambling Division will be engaging with consultees through workshops and direct representations, as well as receiving and analysing written submissions.

The Act will introduce a new regime for the gaming industry which is “modern, innovative and fit for purpose” for the next generation of gaming business.

It will reflect how the industry and technology have changed since 2005, when the current legislation was put in place.

The modern gaming industry is “ever changing” and is now “unrecognisable” from what it was in 2005.

“The current Gambling Act has been very durable, but the nature of the industry has changed and the Act needed modernising to ensure that Gibraltar remains as a primary gambling hub for businesses that are increasingly multijurisdictional,” said Albert Isola, the Minister for Digital and Financial Services.

“The B2B supply chain is now more diversified and we needed to establish proportionate control over the supply chain whilst ensuring our B2C operators receive the services they need in a fast moving environment.”

“I am grateful to a small core of advisers for implementing progressive gambling policy through the drafting of the Bill.”

“The shape of the Bill reflects Gibraltar’s wider regulatory approach and we now need to hear from stakeholders and are open to be persuaded on necessary refinements in bespoke areas.”

The Act will redefine the activities that require to be licensed, and reinforce the importance of “substance” to firms operating from Gibraltar.

The work on this Act was started before Brexit and was held up pending those discussions and stalled again when the Covid pandemic forced new priorities on the Government of Gibraltar, No.6 Convent Place said.

The Act has been previously discussed with all firms in Gibraltar, and recently face-to-face meetings with all firms have encouraged them to consider the Bill and revert with their thoughts on the principles and substance of the Bill.

The Act will be a more flexible range of regulatory powers, but countered by statutory rights of appeal.

The Act maintains the distinction between the Minister as Licensing Authority and the Gambling Commissioner, but puts the Gambling Division and its staff on a statutory footing.

“The Act is an enabling and modernising Act which allows the minister to make regulations and the Gambling Commissioner to issue codes; particularly in the area of consumer protection,” No.6 said.

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