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Gib Labour Party Calls For Policy Statement On Betting Industry

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

04 September 2002


Speaking on behalf of Gibraltar's Labour Party this week, Nigel Feetham called on the government to clearly outline its policy on the licensing of gaming operators on the Rock.

Referring to recent reports which have suggested that Sportingbet is considering relocated some of its operations from Alderney to Gibraltar as the result of legislative change in the former jurisdiction, Mr Feetham stated that:

'The unconfirmed media reports last week that a major internet gaming company was considering relocating to Gibraltar after Alderney prohibited the taking of bets from the US, deserves a clear policy statement from the Government of Gibraltar.'

Suggesting that the jurisdiction should follow in the Isle of Man's footsteps in order to avoid controversy and possible conflict with the United States, he explained:

'The Labour Party recalls that in the mid-1990s, the policy of the Administration in Gibraltar when considering the licensing of gaming operators was for licences to stipulate that the licensees could only transact business where it was legal. In our view, for the sake of Gibraltar's standing as a reputable finance centre, that requirement should be enforced in all cases and if any current gaming licences do not stipulate that, then the Labour Party believes they should be changed, as in Alderney.'

He continued: 'Good gaming companies that run their businesses with integrity and recognise and operate within national and international laws have made a very important contribution to Gibraltar's economy and are to be welcomed, but the government must ensure that their activities in no way compromise Gibraltar's standing as an international financial centre.'

Calling for a clarification of policy from the Government on this issue, Mr Feetham concluded:

'A major US investigation involving Gibraltar in the future may potentially do far more damage to Gibraltar's reputation than the fast-launch activity ever did.'

A comprehensive report on the online gambling situation in a number of offshore jurisdictions, including Gibraltar is available in the Tax-News Reports shop at http://www.tax-news.com/reportshop/

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