Gambling Havens

Posted on by gambling guru

Mobile Casino HavensEver since the first casinos were set up in Italy, and spread through Western Europe, governments have attempted to regulate the industry in an attempt to take a cut of its massive profits. In some countries gambling operators have been regulated out of existence, with the state claiming a monopoly on all gambling operations – typically in the form of scratch cards and lotteries.

In the age of globalization this has meant that many casinos have been forced to move their operations to countries or regions which enforce minimal taxes and punitive financial regulations on gambling operators. While this may sometimes seem suspicious to potential online gamblers, this is simply a way for online casinos and sportsbooks to limit expenses and extend their products to as many people as possible.

Here are a few of the world’s most famous havens for online casino and sports betting companies.

Isle of Man

Isle of Man Map
The Isle of Man is one of the most popular havens for UK bookmakers and their subsidiary casino and poker operations. Not only is the island located in close proximity to England, but it has also gone out of its way to provide an environment that is gambling-friendly.

The perks offered by the island include a low licensing fee, fast processing of licensing applications and low duties. Added to this is first world technical infrastructure and Internet support and systems. This has attracted over two dozen e-gaming companies to the country, with dozens more applying to operate on the island.

The benefits to the Isle of Man are numerous. For a start e-gaming companies employ large staff contingents, particularly related to the financial industry. In addition their licenses require them to bank locally, providing a solid, profitable customer base in a tough economy. In total e-gaming companies now generate around 5% of the island’s revenue.

There are also benefits for gamers who have accounts with bookies and casinos based in the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man routinely audits the software used by online casinos and mobile casinos via its Gambling Supervision Commission, and publishes the results on the Internet, allowing gamers to ensure they’re getting a fair deal.

In addition close proximity to the UK combined with a reliable legal framework allows for easy settlement of disputes for UK based gamers. Operators based on the island are required to abide by decisions made by the Independent Betting Adjudication Service, and impartial adjudicator of disputes between gambling operators and their customers.

Gibraltar

Gibraltar Map
Located on a peninsula off the coast of Spain, this tiny self-governing territory has an area of just 6.8 square kilometers. Nevertheless the island is home to some of the biggest names in the e-gaming business, including Victor Chandler and Ladbrokes.

The major attraction Gibraltar holds for e-gaming companies in is the low levels of taxation, with companies required to pay only a tiny fraction of their profits in taxes. The benefits of these lower taxes are passed on to the end user, with UK residents paying lower taxes on winnings generated at Gibraltar based bookies.

The gambling sector in Gibraltar has grown to such an extent that it is estimated that over 10% of the territory’s workforce is now employed by e-gaming companies, and over a dozen major players in the e-gaming industry now have offices based there.

Gibraltar also attempts to ensure that all clients of the gaming operators are given a fair deal, as there is strict regulation of the gaming industry by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. This has resulted in all Gibraltar-based casinos and bookies to be added to a whitelist which allows them to advertise freely in the United Kingdom.

As a result gamers and punters can make deposits with Gibraltar based companies safe in the knowledge that these are held to the highest standards of fairness, honesty and good conduct.

Malta

Malta Map
The island of Malta is situated in the Mediterranean Sea, and has only become an important e-gaming hub in recent years. The island began licensing online operators in 2000, with a series of adjustments to the regulatory framework introduced in 2004 to attract more companies.

The biggest benefit to casino and sportsbook operators is a tax cap, which is amongst the lowest in the world, with major casino operators paying an almost negligible fraction of their earnings in taxes to the Maltese government. Licensing fees are also inexpensive, allowing even small operators to set up shop on the island.

Offshore gambling in Malta is governed by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority, which grants fixed-term licenses, with companies required to re-apply every 5 years, and subject to refusal if they fail to meet the standards set by the commission. One of the interesting stipulations of this authority is that none of the offshore gaming sites are permitted to accept bets by residents of the island.

The high quality of the regulatory framework of Malta has resulted in the country making the United Kingdom’s gaming white list, which means casinos located in the country are freely available to advertise in the UK and offer their services to UK citizens.

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