Posted 3/11/11 : While the politicians continue to wrangle over online gambling regulations, the island's communications and data hosting centres are getting an upgrade.
Jersey politicians may still be arguing about the nitty gritty of becoming an online gambling jurisdiction, but the Channel Island's telecommunications company is getting on with upgrading its facilities in anticipation of increased demand.
The BBC reported this week that Jersey Telecom is investing GBP 15 million in upgrading its facilities in order to handle the increased demand anticipated once the island starts licensing online gambling companies, an initiative expected to bring in around GBP50 million a year.
The island's politicians have already voted 38 to 4 with one abstention to go ahead with creating a regulator and licensing jurisdiction, but a temporary delay has occurred whilst the proposed regulations undergo further scrutiny.
Several small mainly island jurisdictions, including Guernsey, Alderney, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, have already set up online gambling industries in Europe and are reaping the tax and licensing benefits of doing so.
Jersey's Economic Development Minister, Alan Maclean, has been driving the project, which includes the creation of a Gambling Commission – a move which was agreed in principle in 2005.
A statement issued by Jersey Telecom reads:
“JT fully supports the States’ [island ‘parliament'] commitment to diversify the local economy and we are delighted with this decision to include e-Gaming in the new Gambling Law, which will deliver significant economic growth opportunities”.
“We have been involved in e-gaming in Guernsey, through our sister company Wave Telecom, since 2007, and it has proved a very positive addition to the economy, and enabled the Island to rapidly grow its telecommunications links with the rest of the world. We have been calling for a similar initiative to be undertaken in Jersey too”.
"In anticipation of the States’ decision, Jersey Telecom has invested more than GBP15 million developing data hosting centres in order to provide the best possible environment for an e-gaming industry. This includes the recent approval for another new data centre due for completion in the next 12 months. The company has also made a multi million pound investment in the telecommunications links between Jersey and the rest of the world which now provide virtually unlimited capacity to accommodate industries such as e-gaming.
“We are very confident in the future of this new industry, and the positive benefits it will bring to Jersey. This decision by the States supports the considerable investment we have made in the Island’s telecommunications infrastructure which now offers e-gaming firms a secure and resilient option for hosting their online services with access to as much capacity as they require to connect to the rest of the world”.