Command Paper on a draft Bill for an Act to repeal and replace the Gambling Act 2005

20 Jun 2022

Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar (“HMGoG”) earlier this month, announced the publication of the Command Paper that will repeal and replace the current Gambling Act 2005.

The update has been highly anticipated by those working within and alongside the Gambling Sector in Gibraltar for a significant amount of time.  

The link to the Command Paper can be found below, however, it is expected that the Command Paper will run until early September giving those involved within the industry a chance to provide invaluable recommendations on the proposed legislation.

The repeal and subsequent enactment of the legislation will reflect changes and advancements, technological and otherwise, which have occurred within the sector over the last 17 years since the Gambling Act 2005 was enacted.

As stated in the Foreword of the Command Paper:

“[T]he industry, the technology with which it operates, its other needs and indeed, global attitudes to online gambling have changed since Gibraltar established its current licensing and regulatory framework in the Gambling Act 2005. In order for Gibraltar to remain an attractive, as well as a globally acknowledged reputable location for the industry, the Government considers that it is necessary to change the legislative framework to reflect the current needs and circumstances. To this end, the Government proposes to repeal and replace the Gambling Act 2005.”

The updates will include, but will not be limited to modernisation, licences, regulation and best practices within the industry.  

The key changes are listed below but are by no means exhaustive:  

Considerable changes:

What is considerably the biggest change under the newly proposed legislation comes under Part 4 of the Bill which requires a new approach to licensing based on “sufficient [and] substantive presence” in Gibraltar. 

Furthermore, another significant change is seen at s.36 which introduces “threshold conditions” to licence holders, these are to be standards of practice and behaviour for such license holders and include [subject to amendment(s)] the following:

  • Conduct of business
  • (Location of offices
  • Appropriate resources
  • Effective supervision
  • Suitability (fit and proper)
  • Suitability (of business model for the regulated activity carried out)
  • Procedures and internal controls
  • Payment of fees and taxes
  • Responsible gambling
  • Minimum age for gambling
  • Customer registration
  • Duty of candour and spontaneous cooperation with licensing authority and regulator
  • Protection of customer funds
  • Payment of winnings
  • Prevention of financial crime
  • Publications of terms and conditions of business
  • Complaints procedure

Furthermore, a newly established concept of “approved persons” or as it will be called “regulated individuals” has been introduced.  In sum, all regulated individuals will need to be approved by the Commissioner in order to perform one or more regulated function(s). The licence holder shall be the one who applies for approval of such regulated individuals, with the updated legislation setting out the procedural steps for such approval.

The “Regulated Functions” will include the following:

  • Chief Executive Officer;
  • Managing Director;
  • Financial Management (CFO or equivalent);
  • Head of Regulatory compliance;
  • Money Laundering Reporting Officer;
  • Head of Safer or responsible gambling;
  • Head of marketing and/or commercial development;
  • IT infrastructure and Cyber security (CIO or equivalent); and
  • Management of gaming operations and floor management in land-based casinos

The above article is non-exhaustive and those requiring legal advice in respect of any matters pertinent to Gibraltar’s law on Gambling can contact us at info@prtlawyers.com and our team would be delighted to assist on any issues you may require.

Readers can find the Command Paper on a draft Bill for an Act to repeal and replace the Gambling Act 2005 here: C01-2022.pdf (gibraltarlaws.gov.gi)

Please note that the information and any commentary on the law contained in this article is only intended as a general statement and is provided for information purposes only and no action should be taken in reliance on it without specific legal advice. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information and commentary accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequence of relying on it, is assumed by the author. Further, this article note is not intended to amount to legal advice, reflects only the author’s views and is not intended to reflect the views of PEREZ RODRIGUEZ TRENADO LLP or any other entity associated with or connected with the author and/or PEREZ RODRIGUEZ TRENADO LLP.

Aidan Plows
Associate, Barrister-at-Law (Consultant)

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