Gambling Insider - Jurisdictions Roundtable 2021
Gambling Insider invited Susan O'Leary to participate in the annual Jurisdictions Roundtable, discussing how jurisdictions have handled growth in demand in the online gaming space over the past year
As a global regulator, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has been inundated with enquiries from gaming businesses seeking a licence from a recognised authority that provides them with the consistency and certainty they need to allow them to not just function, but to flourish through these times. Not only that, but many are looking to physically relocate operations to a more stable jurisdiction like Alderney which understands the industry and its needs.
When Gambling Insider contacted us to be part of the annual jurisdictions roundtable we were delighted to take part. Here's our responses to their questions, the full feature can be found here.
How has the pandemic affected different jurisdictions across the globe?
In our experience of speaking to operators and suppliers, the differing ways in which Governments around the world handled the pandemic left many businesses in a position of uncertainty. As a global regulator, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has been inundated with enquiries from gaming businesses seeking a licence from a recognised authority that provides them with the consistency and certainty they need to allow them to not just function, but to flourish through these times. Not only that, but many are looking to physically relocate operations to a more stable jurisdiction like Alderney which understands the industry and its needs.
The Bailiwick of Guernsey (of which Alderney is the second largest Island) as a jurisdiction has remained relatively unaffected by the effects of the pandemic. Being a small Island jurisdiction with a pragmatic and proactive public health team, the disruption from COVID-19 has been minimal since the initial lockdown period in 2020 ended, with only a short period of disturbance which was quickly resolved with a circuit break-style intervention at the start of 2021. There are currently no restrictions on socialising, masks are not mandatory and it is hoped that with such a successful on-Island vaccination programme, travel restrictions will be lifted at the start of July to allow for more freedom to travel in and out of the Bailiwick.
How have different jurisdictions adapted to cope with record-breaking demand over the past 12 months in the online gaming sector?
While the past 12 months have definitely seen an increase in demand, it’s the way that the Alderney eGambling team are able to assist businesses that has set us apart. The well-known global businesses who come to us do so not only for our regulatory expertise, but for our knowledge, experience and network of connections across the entire eGaming ecosystem globally. We are able to provide a tailored, strategic level of advice that is unique to each business, guiding them through the licensing process appropriately based on their individual objectives and goals.
Much of the work for the past 12 months has centred around businesses who are choosing to relocate, with Alderney eGambling advising on the licensing element as well as strategising and planning the logistics of the move. For some, relocation has meant a satellite office to support offices in other established jurisdictions. For others it’s a relocation of the entire operation to the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
The jurisdiction boasts a supportive Government, welcoming of new tech businesses and providing expertise on the ground through a network of agencies to enable seamless relocations. In the past 12 months, Locate Guernsey, the Bailiwick’s first port of call for relocations, has advised many new businesses looking to take advantage of the Bailiwick Islands’ COVID-free situation, stable political environment and simply stunning jurisdiction to call home.
How have these jurisdictions adapted their infrastructure to adapt to the changing landscape?
While other jurisdictions have had to adapt their working practices and even their frameworks to deal with the changes the industry is experiencing, the AGCC has a proven regime that is flexible enough to not only meet the needs of the ever-evolving sector, but also to support and nurture its licensees to really thrive.
The regulator takes a risk-based approach to licensing, using its vast knowledge and years of expertise to streamline the process for operators and service providers. In this way, it takes a very practical approach to regulation and licensing, applying rules and requirements to businesses only if they apply to them. It’s a far more efficient process for prospective licensees; they are able to push forward without the delays or burden of over-regulation holding them back. This has been especially relevant over the past 12 months when businesses have been operating under such unusual conditions.
Looking forward, what are jurisdictions doing to attract licensees?
In terms of attracting licensees, the advantages of Alderney as a jurisdiction have really come to the fore throughout this crisis. It has always been a beacon of stability and common sense in an industry which often experiences turbulence due to the rapid pace at which it moves, but the past 12 months especially have firmly positioned Alderney as a safe harbour for businesses facing disruption elsewhere.
The level of flexibility afforded by the Alderney licence continues to attract interest from businesses globally who have the choice to be licensed by the AGCC and be physically based in one of the Islands of the Bailiwick, or hold a licence with the AGCC and maintain a company structure elsewhere. This freedom to be based anywhere in the world provides businesses with an often unique situation, whereby they can take advantage of the prestige of an Alderney licence, but maintain their operations wherever they are globally.
The combined reputation of both the regulator and the jurisdiction in general as a solid but supportive location to nurture and grow a successful eGaming business, puts Alderney firmly at the forefront of the industry. The global businesses who have already chosen Alderney are testament to its standing as one of the most highly regarded, leading eGaming jurisdictions in the world.