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The Tote Moves To Alderney

by Jason Gorringe,, London

01 January 2008

Having gained admission to the UK's much-prized 'white list' of jurisdictions which are allowed to advertise gaming services, Alderney has now claimed a major scalp as Totesport Casino, the on-line service of the UK's Tote, has decided to move there.

Gaming operators based in Alderney escape the 15% tax slapped on UK-resident gaming operators under the UK's new Gambling Act, which has largely prevented existing operators from moving to the UK, as had apparently been hoped for by the government.

The situation, perhaps embarrassing for the UK government, results from the creation of the white list, after a crackdown by the UK government on gambling adverts from places that don’t meet the country's strict new regulatory standards. About one thousand gambling websites based in offshore jurisidctions are now banned from advertising in the UK, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said. But Alderney and the Isle of Man have been given carte blanche, while Gibraltar and Malta, both with lowtax gaming regimes, creep in due to their membership of the EU.

Regulations laid in Parliament on August 9 use new powers contained in the Gambling Act 2005 to ban gambling adverts from companies operating outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Jurisdictions which wanted to be exempt from the ad ban had to pass a stringent assessment of their regulatory standards, including the ability to demonstrate that they adhere to fair tax principles, in particular, openness, equal availability and equal treatment.

Gambling operators in jurisdictions that did not apply to be white-listed were automatically banned from 1st September. These include major online gambling centres such as Costa Rica and Belize.

Sites such as Betfred Casino and Poker, and are all currently based in the Netherland Antilles, a non-white listed jurisdiction, according to the UK government.

For companies not based in white-listed jurisdictions to be able to advertise in the UK, they need to move to the EEA or a jurisdiction on the white list, or the jurisdiction in which they are based needs to successfully re-apply for a place on the white list.

Only the Channel Island of Alderney and the Isle of Man were able to demonstrate that they had in place a rigorous licensing regime designed to stop children gambling, protect vulnerable people, keep games fair and keep out crime. Countries in the EEA however did not have to apply to be white-listed.

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