Spotlight on Alderney
We were delighted to be invited by Gambling Insider to take part in the jurisdictions round table feature.
What are the main benefits that a base in Alderney can offer companies in the gambling industry
Being a global facing regulator, licensees are afforded the flexibility and freedom to access whichever markets work for their business, providing local laws are adhered to. The Alderney licence is unique in being the only, highly respected licence to open up the pre regulated space to its licensees. Considering that 70% of the online gaming sector is still pre regulated, the potential afforded here to businesses looking to enter these markets having received the necessary approvals from a respected and recognised licensing body, is huge.
Alderney is outside of the EU and EEA and it is also the only regulator to provide a licensing framework for businesses who aren’t domiciled in the jurisdiction and of course for those that are too. The option of obtaining a B2B or B2C Associate Certificate, which mirrors the standard licence model in effect, means that the benefits of the Alderney regime are available to any business wherever they are based.
Another significant benefit is the favourable tax regime. There’s no VAT or gaming duty levied and zero-rated corporate tax. For those who choose to base their operations in Alderney, there are many additional benefits and the Islands provide a fantastic base for international businesses.
What are the main barriers of entry into the gambling industry and how does Alderney minimise these?
There’s no doubt that banking and payments processing issues are challenge for the entire industry and we’ve seen it become more and more difficult. But the Alderney licensees have found that holding an Alderney licence demonstrates to the financial institutions that the business is operating to a high standard of regulation from a leading global regulator, which can be enough to mitigate the perceived risk. Added to that, Alderney has received the highest levels of endorsement from Moneyval and the Financial Action Task Force on its approach to AML and not all jurisdictions can claim such a positive evaluation.
How much emphasis does your jurisdiction place on new technologies such as Blockchain?
We assess new technologies in such a way as to address how they fit into the regulated space. Alderney has a very broad and flexible regulatory regime which incorporates all types of gambling activity and we take a pragmatic, risk-based approach to regulation – this includes how we assess new supporting technologies such as crypto and blockchain and how they are used within a licensee’s operations. Anything goes with regard to new technologies provided it works within the already flexible framework.
What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in your jurisdiction in recent years?
A significant development last year was the clarity on the jurisdiction’s position on economic substance. There are now very clear and definitive guidelines on what constitutes sufficient economic substance, recognised by ECOFIN and OECD. The requirements are easily achievable and the development has been positively welcomed. This transparency offers licensees with a significant opportunity to run their operations in line with internationally recognised best practice, all under the security of the respected Alderney licensing structure.
What are the main plans for the future?
Building on the jurisdiction’s reputation for excellence to encourage and welcome more global businesses to take advantage of Alderney as a licensing jurisdiction. Working alongside other jurisdictions to identify and maximise synergies to benefit licensees. We are continuing to work with pre regulated markets, extending our network of contacts within governments, regulators, service providers and operators on the ground to benefit both our own licensees with entry into this space and also to advise on the creation of future proof local frameworks.
Will the completion of Brexit effect the gambling industry in Alderney in any way?
Being outside of the EU and EEA there’s no direct impact on Alderney from Brexit and in fact, Alderney has been able to offer a safe harbor during the recent times of mass uncertainty. That being said, we’ve been speaking to many operators who are more certain of their position now that Brexit has arrived. Many EU businesses are looking to expand their operations outside of the EU and we’re helping them to access new markets under the Alderney licence through our vast network, maximizing the opportunities available.