|Alderney Island’s Gambling Control Commission, an independent, non-political body, which was formed two years ago, has reported a surplus of £535,502 for the current financial year compared with £62,165 in the previous year. |
‘It is a very positive sign for Alderney. We hope to build further on the increase and it will make a difference because it will make funds available to do things in the future which were not there in the past,’ says Chief executive officer Andre Wilsenach.
‘As a regulator, we are more concerned with having a good reputation for the industry in the island. Reputation must be at the forefront of anything you do and the commission is confident that, with the licensees we have, we will be able to maintain the good reputation of the Bailiwick as a financial center,’ adds Wilsenach.
After having just three licensees in 2002, the number increased to 10 by the end of last year, including well-known and well-respected brands such as Sky, Ritz, Rank, Harrah’s, Venetian, WagerWorks, CryptoLogic and Paddy Power.
Expansion was largely confined to smaller operators with new operations being shaken out and consolidation occurring around bigger, well-known companies, which wanted to operate in the environment Alderney offered. Currently the tiny island does not have many jurisdictions, which offer a well-defined strictly regulated environment and also one that understands the commercial realities facing the industry.
However, Alderney with its modern telecom infrastructure, hosting facilities, and low corporate taxes, no VAT and no gaming taxes, and being an island without a huge labor force has worked to its advantage. It has now attracted more than 2,000 Internet gambling sites, which are owned by approximately 350 businesses operating from jurisdictions other than Alderney.
‘The main objective is to provide a regulatory environment that met world- class standards – thereby protecting Alderney’s reputation while attracting top quality operations. This is not what is typically offered by many other gambling jurisdictions elsewhere,’ claims the Island’s gaming Commission Chairman John Godfrey.