Could bitcoin find its betting rock in Gibraltar?
Gibraltar, with its low taxes, is among the most well-known entities in the online gambling world. This has lured some of the biggest names in the industry like Bet365 to Gibraltar’s shores. Gibraltar, a Mediterranean UK overseas territory, began issuing licenses for remote casino operators in 1998 and has experienced growth ever since.
Crypto legislation is crucial for Gibraltar
The gambling space has been rapidly growing for many years, but one of the biggest disruptions in recent times has been cryptocurrency. The use of bitcoin and other digital currency has shaken up the banking side and given us a legitimate and (mainly) anonymous way to fund our betting accounts.
Why is it so important for Gibraltar to embrace cryptocurrency? The gambling space is among the most competitive in the world. With Malta Gaming Authority, Europe’s biggest regulator, indicating they won’t be tackling bitcoin anytime soon, Gibraltar has an opportunity to push the envelope in legal, regulated cryptocurrency transactions.
The legislation introduced by Gibraltar’s authorities demands firms storing and transferring value must be approved by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). The Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) Regulatory Framework became the first legislation in the country surrounding crypto with it aiming to make it acceptable in the country. Essentially, the DLT Structure is expected to plant the seeds for future cryptocurrency regulation in a country that considers online betting as one of the important mainstays of its economy.
Every licensed crypto casino must adhere to the rules spelled out by the government in an effort to protect the interests and rights of the consumers. Every DLT service provider will be expected to communicate with its clients in a manner that is acceptable, clear and honest. The communication which emanates from the provider must appropriately convey the associated risks both for the company and the customers. Firms must have efficient plans put in place for the protection of the customer’s funds and assets. This must equally include emergency disaster management and also crisis management strategies.
Nicky Gomez, the GFSC’s Risk, and Innovation Departmental head outlined that the commission is excited about perfecting a number of interesting and revolutionary strategies with the applicants of authorizations. He further pointed out that GFSC was the first supervisory body to initiate a DLT Regulatory Structure along with the financial services industry and the government of Gibraltar.
How will integrating crypto impact Gibraltar?
Gibraltar is among the world’s most popular gambling regulators. The legislation of Gibraltar’s betting industry has over time been under the control of Gibraltar Gambling Commission (GGC) and the affairs of the casinos have on the other hand have been managed by the Gibraltar Gambling and Betting Association.
Given the recent success of cryptocurrency, the country has welcomed the blockchain technology and is now the first nation to incorporate crypto and betting. This has resulted in a number of existing betting regulations being revised while several others are getting introduced.
There appears to be no other suitable European location to try out cryptocurrency legislation models apart from Gibraltar. The country’s legal system is separated from that of the UK and it has shown that betting can flourish and be controlled under appropriate conditions.
Considering the country’s prolonged record as a gambling paradise and the acceptance of cryptocurrency among gamblers, one can easily understand the government’s decision to take this step. In addition, the country’s tax benefits and simple legislation help in promoting the growth and development of the blockchain technology.
What’s the Implication of this for gamblers?
There are still some things to put in place. As noted by Andrew Layman, who is a senior director at Gibraltar’s gambling supervisory agency, crypto companies which aim to provide services to casino operators don’t appear to understand the severity of licensing.
Although he is prepared to listen to the proposals of the crypto firms, no unfavorable rebates should be anticipated, he cautioned. He further noted that the companies are experiencing problems planning how they would carry out counter-terrorism funding (CTF) and anti-money laundering (AML). Layman made this statement earlier in May, in an e-Summit in KPMG Gibraltar. At the time he said he could foresee a peer-to-peer utilization of cryptocurrency as well as exchange gambling.