Online Gaming in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a self-governing British Crown Dependency. It is a full member of the European Union and retains complete independence from the U.K. in matters of taxation. Gibraltar has become known as an online gambling center. As of September 2013, Gibraltar was hosting more than 25 online betting and gaming firms employing approximately 2,000 people. The gambling industry has become its largest employer and tenant. Many online gaming operators view Gibraltar as the best place to locate their operations.

Gibraltar began offering licenses to online gaming sites in 1998. The Licensing Authority grants the following types of gaming licenses: bookmaker's license, betting intermediary's license, gaming operator's license, gaming machine license, lottery promoter's license, pools promoter's license and remote gambling license. Licenses are only granted to operators with a proven track record who are licensed in a reputable jurisdiction and have good financial standing and a realistic business plan. Software testing is part of the process as well.

Online gaming tax is levied at a rate of 1% of relevant income, i.e., gaming yield for online casinos and bets placed for online bookmakers, capped at GBP 425,000 with a minimum payable of GBP 85,000. Betting exchanges are currently taxed on the same basis as fixed-odds operations. For internet casinos, the gaming tax is currently levied at 1% of the gaming yield or gross profit. The maximum and minimum cap is the same as for fixed-odds betting.

There is no VAT (Value Added Tax) in Gibraltar.

In June 2014, the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA), which represents operators based in Gibraltar, challenged the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, which required operators to apply for a license from the U.K. Gambling Commission. The GBGA's argument was that, because Gibraltar-based operators are already licensed in Gibraltar, they do not need a license in the U.K. and should not be subject to the U.K.'s 15% point of consumption tax. In July 2015, the challenge was referred by the High Court in England to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The resolution of GBGA's legal challenge has not yet been determined.

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