Known as a spectacular rock monolith, Gibraltar covers a land area of about six square kilometres. You find the British Overseas Territory at the southern tip of Spain which overlooks the Strait of Gibraltar. Many know Gibraltar as the Meeting Place of Continents as well as a centre for finance and iGaming.
Several European Union member states have special territories which, for historical, geographical, or political reasons, enjoy special status within or outside the European Union. Gibraltar is one of them. Gibraltar is one of the twelve British Overseas Territories, but the only part of the European Union, having joined the European Economic Community under the United Kingdom in 1973.
Gibraltar owns a special status within the EU meaning it is outside the customs union and VAT area as well as it does not form part of the Schengen Area. Also, as a separate jurisdiction to the UK, Gibraltar’s government and parliament are responsible for the transposition of EU law into local law. This means Gibraltar is a self-governing British Crown Dependency having an almost complete internal democratic self-government. The UK is responsible solely for the external relations and foreign affairs of the territory.
Favourable corporate tax regime iGaming companies
Gibraltar has developed into an e-business and iGaming centre relying on its low-taxation system and its special status within the European Union. In the early 2000s, many online gambling operators, particularly those from the UK, relocated from the UK to Gibraltar, not only to benefit from operating in a regulated jurisdiction but also from a favourable corporate tax regime.
However, this beneficial corporate tax regime disappeared by January 2011, replaced by a fixed corporate tax rate of 10%. Though Gibraltar is still attractive to operators due to its exemption from value added tax (VAT), unlike all other EU member states.
Gibraltar casino license
Gibraltar has successfully established itself as an online gambling jurisdiction, attracting major international licensees including Bwin.Party, Ladbrokes, Betfair and NetEnt.
The Gibraltar casino license is already available to operators since 1998. At the moment, the Gibraltar casino license is part of the under Gambling Act 2005. This law was last amended with the Gambling (Amendment) Act 2011. A subsidiary legislation, Gambling Act Licence (Application Fee) Regulations, was also enacted in 2013.
The main piece of gambling legislation, the Gambling Act 2005, regulates both the land-based industry and online gambling (remote gambling). The Government of Gibraltar introduced the Gambling Act 2005 to denote the borders of the online gambling legislation in Gibraltar and to contemplate its ways of functioning.
According to the government of Gibraltar, it was in 2013 30 operators were based in the jurisdiction, holding 42 licences to conduct online gambling under the Gambling Act 2005.
Whitelisted gambling jurisdictions
Those gambling jurisdictions that are allowed to advertise gambling services on the territory of the United Kingdom appear on the so-called “white-list” issued by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. The Gambling Act 2005 forbids all countries, territories or jurisdictions that are not part of the EEA and are located outside the UK and Gibraltar to advertise their gambling services on the territory of the UK.
Exceptions are only made for those jurisdictions that can prove they meet the requirements set by the Gambling Act 2005. This means operators provided with a Gibraltar casino license are able to offer their services to residents of the UK too.
Gibraltar and Brexit
On 31 January 2020, the UK and Gibraltar left the European Union. In December 2020, the UK and Spain agreed in principle to negotiate an agreement through which Gibraltar would participate in the Schengen Area.