Just off the southern tip of Spain, the rock of Gibraltar sticks out to form a natural gateway to the Mediterranean sea. This British Overseas Territory covers just 2.6 square miles but is home to some of the biggest online gambling sites around right now.
If you are curious about which new casinos have a licence from Gibraltar, you will be able to get the complete overview below. The list currently displays the 10 latest casinos with a Gibralthar licence, but you can expand the list for more casinos. Note: This list only covers the casinos that we have reviewed.
The key feature of a gambling licence issued in Gibraltar is the ability to use it beyond the territory itself. This makes it much more of an international licence when compared to those issued by specific country gambling regulators such as the UKGC.
The Gibraltar Gambling Act 2005 (Gambling Act) sets out the details to provide licensing and regulation for land-based gambling and remote gambling. This act is fundamentally based on the UK Gambling Act of the same year and provides these key points:
- It sets out the guidelines to be followed.
- Makes provision for the form of application for a gaming licence.
- Establishes the standards with which existing and prospective operators are expected to comply.
The GGC issues a number of licences which cover various aspects of online gambling. They have the authority to issue licences for:
- Online casinos
- Online poker
Online gambling sites which are granted a licence will then be closely monitored and audited to ensure compliance and a safe playing environment.
The Gibraltar Gambling Commission (GGC) undertakes a wide range of responsibilities to ensure that its high standards of player safety are maintained at all times.
These responsibilities fall into a few key areas, some of the main ones are as follows.
- Marketing Guidelines – ensuring that all gambling promotions and advertising comply with their strict guidelines, i.e. no advertising aimed at anyone under 18 years of age.
- Customer Data Protection – licensed operators must carry out appropriate checks to ensure all player data is accurate and legal.
- Operator Location – the GGC requires gambling providers to be mainly based in Gibraltar if they hold one of their licences.
- Anti-Money Laundering – there are tough guidelines which licensed sites have to comply with in terms of detecting and reporting any money laundering activities.
- Strict Operating Standards – the GGC has a set of 13 ‘standards’ which operators must comply with. These cover everything from underage gambling to compliance and testing and are rigorously enforced.
- Operator Testing – independent testing bodies which are approved by the GGC are used to make sure that all games are operating fairly.
Playing at GGC licensed casinos helps players to stay safe in their online gambling activities due to the stringent control and regulation the licence provides. Therefore, it is always good to ensure that any gambling operator which is claiming to hold a GGC licence actually does so.
The simplest check to perform is to have a look at the footer of any sportsbook or online casino. Here it should clearly state, or not, that the operator is officially licensed by the Gibraltar Gambling Commission.
As of February 2020, there were 37 licensed operators which are all listed on the official Government of Gibraltar website. Therefore, if a player is in any doubt about the validity of a GGC licence, they can reassure themselves with a quick cross-checking of the official list.
For gambling site operators, a key benefit of getting a Gibraltar Gambling Commission licence is the international appeal. Unlike licence providers such as the UKGC who only cover their own territories, a GGC licence can be used to cover players outside of Gibraltar.
New casino sites and sportsbooks can also benefit from the trust factor of having a GGC licence. It is a highly respected and long-established international licensing authority which players have come to know and trust. With a list of less than 40 licensed operators, being approved by the GGC can be seen as a true badge of honour.
From the players perspective, they know that they are well protected in terms of fairness, fraud and personal data when they sign up with any casino holding a GGC licence. Providers have high standards to maintain and will do their best to ensure that there are no complaints brought against them.
There is always a risk that countries with their own licencing system may not permit their residents to play at casinos with a GGC licence. This could simply be from a national tax perspective, where they would try and encourage players to stick to local casinos only.
Any future changes or challenges to the GGC legislation could also pose a risk to casino operators and players alike. Gambling operators have to invest a lot of time and money to gain a GGC licence and are required to physically locate their businesses in Gibraltar. Losing a licence would mean a massive real-world upheaval of their operations.
From a players’ point of view, they need to be aware of the power of the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association. This is a trade association representing online gambling businesses with remote gambling licences issued in Gibraltar. It’s a club for the big boys of the online casino world and can hold a lot of sway over any future decisions from the GGC. They might put up a fight against any changes which impact their businesses but are intended to benefit players.
The introduction of the Gambling Act in 2005 was the last major piece of legislation which was passed in terms of gambling in Gibraltar. This included a specific provision for the offering of gambling via remote means, i.e. online casinos and bookmakers.
There have been no other significant changes or additions to the online gambling legislation and regulatory framework in Gibraltar since this. However, in 2019 the government of Gibraltar announced a general review of the gambling licensing and regulatory framework. It is yet to be seen if any major changes are on the horizon.
Playing at online casinos or sportsbooks licensed by the GGC should help to ensure that players will have a fair and safe gaming experience. If an issue should arise, then it is advised that the player tries to resolve it with the gambling provider first before contacting the GGC.
That said, the GGC has a solid reputation for responding to and investigating player complaints which is always good to know.
We’ve done our best to answer most commonly asked questions when it comes to casinos licensed by Gibraltar Gambling Commission.
Licence and administration fees are charged annually as follows:
- Remote Gaming B2C Operator – £100,000.
- Remote Betting B2C Operator – £100,000.
- Other Remote B2C Gambling Products – £100,000.
Casino operators can offer their full range of games, including live casino, video slots and poker, as they would under most international casino licences. The GGC does not impose any major restrictions on this beyond testing to ensure that the games offered are fair and safe for players.
Anyone looking to gamble using a provider licensed by the Gibraltar Gambling Commission must be over 18 years of age. Any operators found to be non-compliant with this rule will face heavy fines and may even have their licence revoked.
Anyone wishing to gamble at a provider using a GGC licence will need to check with the gambling laws of their own country first. The licence is valid and recognised outside of Gibraltar, but it is down to individual countries on how they interpret the legality of this. Very often, if a country issues its own gambling licences to online betting and casinos sites, these will take preference.
The GGC states that gambling operators should have “defined systems in place to enable customers to request to be self-excluded”. Therefore it is down to each individual licence holder to put measures in place to protect players. There is no central database of self-excluded players. The GGC encourages operators to use established systems such as GamCare, eCogra and RGA.
As previously mentioned, licences issued by the Gibraltar Gambling Commission are highly regarded by many casino players. Thanks to the stringent checks for fairness and safety required to obtain and keep a licence, it provides players with a high level of protection.
Casinos operating under a GGC licence can offer casino bonuses to new and existing players. These might be in the form of free spins, cashback, bonus cash or another type of incentive. The exact nature of the bonus a player can claim may be determined by the location they are playing from rather than the casino licence.
G. H. Moretto is the Editor at New Casinos.com and Nyecasino.org, also an expert in advertising and casino content with a passion for blackjack tables. He has managed research, content writing, translations and holds a degree in Social Communication with honours in Advertising, bringing to the table a decade of experience in the advertising and online gambling industries combined. Moretto was also directly involved in a Child Gambling project in the UK, which was discussed with several MPs to bring forward legislation changes to protect children. He has reviewed thousands of online casinos, slots and casino games and he definitely knows his way around bonuses, payment methods and trends. This casino enthusiast is an Editor at NewCasinos.com on a mission to reveal all the secrets of the industry with in-depth and unbiased reviews. Moretto aims to educate new and seasoned players about the risks and rewards of all new casinos, their bonuses and features to help players make better-informed decisions.More info on G. H. Moretto