01/16/2012 : REGULATORS WITH DIFFERENT VIEWS (Update)
Alderney wants to see tighter UK regulation, Gibraltar says it's unnecessary
Further reports have emerged on evidence given to the UK Parliamentary Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport studying British gambling regulation indicating a divergence of views on the subject by Alderney and Gibraltar spokesmen.
During the committee hearings last week, Andre Wilsenach from the Alderney Gaming Control Authority and the Gibraltar Gambling Commission's Philip Brear both put forward their views following the appearance of two former Labour Party ministers responsible for gambling matters during their terms of office.
The two regulators appeared to have differing ideas, and perhaps parochial interests, on the manner in which British gambling regulation should be applied in the future, with Wilsenach suggesting a tighter regime, and Brear appearing to accept the status quo.
Wilsenach, whose organisation has but recently emerged with a few dents following its controversial handling of the Full Tilt Poker debacle reportedly suggested that a more focused approach through the use of carefully assessed risk profiles could benefit the UK Gambling Commission in its oversight of operators.
Higher risk profiles would consider where operators do business and under which licensing, their financial processing arrangements and other factors, and these would define how close an oversight was necessary, possibly including independent audits on a quarterly basis, at the operator's expense.
Brear appeared more concerned about the relationship between his Commission and the UK regulator, suggesting that it had not been as productive as he would have wished it to be. The Gibraltar regulator hinted at what appears to be a "one way street" attitude by his UK counterparts, noting their lack of online gambling regulatory experience, and making the point that the UK body's main adviser on the sector operates from Australia.
Aside from these issues, Brear appeared to feel that UK punters are sufficiently protected by the 2005 Gambling Act, which should therefore remain largely unchanged.
The elephant in the room is the prospect of a secondary licensing (and taxation) regime which the UK government appears intent on imposing on offshore internet gambling operators wishing to advertise and access punters in the UK.
Such a move clearly has implications for EEC licensing jurisdictions like the Isle of Man, Alderney, Malta and Gibraltar, if only because their "white list" status will play a role in their acceptance as suitable and credible regulators by the UK authorities.