The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC)
Alderney is a self governing British Crown dependency. The Alderney Gambling Control Commission was founded in May, 2000 under the Alderney Gambling law. the Commission is an non-political body that functions independently for the government. It performs regulation functions of remote gambling on behalf of the state. The main mission of the Commission is to maintain and ensure the integrity of the Internet gambling industry in Alderney. The objectives of the authority are protection of the Alderney’s reputation as a first tier online gambling jurisdiction by seeking to ensure:
- honesty of online gambling business conduct;
- preventing criminality in money transfer, management and operation spheres of igaming in Alderney;
- comprehensive regulation and monitoring of all online gambling processes;
- protection of online gamblers’ interests and security;
- protection of young and vulnerable players.
The main goal of The Alderney Gambling Control Commission is to provide a regulatory environment that meets every world accepted standard and thereby protects the reputation of Alderney on the one hand and attracts world-class online gambling business operators to the jurisdiction.
The increase of international regulation is having a significant influence on the online gambling industry. It is widely anticipated that this will continue as countries realize that regulation is aligned with their domestic policies of citizens protection and fiscal stability. For that reason Alderney has reconsidered its regulation policy to best meet the fast growing demands of the industry. For that reason Alderney has re-modeled its licensing framework. Among the main objectives that Alderney had to reach are:
- the enhancement of the jurisdiction’s accessibility to quality start-up operations;
- broadening even further the base of licensees;
- ensuring that regulatory oversight was properly maintained.
In 2006 Alderney Gambling Control Commission changed from a dual to a single license concept, as the regulatory bodies have realized that regulation could be simplified to reflect the common issues and activities of the two types of licensees. However, the need to reduce the licensing framework into a mix of licenses and certificates can also be noticed. Certificates are used to confirm that equipment has been tested and suppliers have passed the Commission’s tests for fitness and propriety. Licenses are issued to authorize activities and this latter category has now been split along functionality lines:
- Gambling operations — this includes player registration, management of player funds and of the gambling offering. These will subject to a category 1 license.
- Gambling platform — the provision of approved games, run from an authorized hosting server. This will be subject to a category 2 license.
A conventional operator who recruits players and effects the gambling transactions on their own gambling platform will require both category 1 and category 2 license. A certificate for non-resident platforms has also been introduced. Under the certificate players from category 1 licensee can seamlessly transfer to platforms in locations other than Alderney.
The advantage of this approach is that it sits very well with the varied ways in which different companies are structured, whether they are larger multi-faceted organizations, small start-ups, or specialist platform providers.
Online gambling software providers will require their software to be tested and certificated in order to be incorporated into a licensed platform. Whilst non certified non-resident platforms can still be accessed by Alderney-registered players it will in future be required of the licensee to make clear to the player that they have reduced player protection.
During its 10 years of existence, the AGCC has been keenly aware of the need to respond to the changing needs of a dynamic, rapidly evolving industry, while also being sensitive to the Commission’s licensees commercial imperatives.
AGCC Licensing Procedures
The new licensing regime of Alderney offers the following types of licences:
- Category 1 license — Organization of gambling operations, including player registrations, management of player funds and of the gambling offering;
- Category 2 license — Management and operation of a gambling platform run from an authorized host;
- Temporary Use License — Offered to those wishing to make a short-term use of Alderney license by establishing a secondary website.
- Software Suppliers Certificate — issued to third party suppliers in order to prove compliance with AGCC technical standards.
Category 1 License
The Alderney Category 1 license authorizes the organization of online gambling business operations including registration and verification of players, the contractual relations with them, and the management of players funds. Any Alderney-based operator providing gambling services to individual players will be required to have Category 1 license. Operator applying for such license will be required to do so through an Alderney-registered company. The Alderney Category 1 license complements the use of other (national) licenses specifically acquired to gain access to particular territories.
Category 2 License
A Category 2 License authorizes the operational management of a gambling platform located within an approved hosting centre. The holder of a Category 2 license’s proprietary gambling software is approved and endorced on their license.
Third-party gambling software operating on an Alderney-licensed platform must be approved and can only be supplied by a holder of a Software Suppliers Certificate (associate certificate).
A Category 2 licensee will be either resident or non-resident. A Category 2 resident license can be only held by an Alderney-based company. The non-resident License will allow the non-resident platform operator to access players from Alderney without the need to warn then of the change of jurisdiction, which is otherwise required by Alderney. Any number of locations can be covered by a single non-resident license. Similarly, operators in Alderney may establish fail-over facilities outside the jurisdiction without any regulatorly overhead.
Temporary Use License
Alderney offers a temporary use license for operators outside Alderney who may wish to make short-term use of Alderneys superior technical infrastructure by establishing a secondary website in an approved hosting centre. Such facilities can run under the operator’s primarily non-Alderney regulatory system for a period of 30 consecutive days or 60 days in total in any 6 months period. There is no requirement for the holder to form an Alderney company. Activity in excess of those limits triggers a requirement to acquire the appropriate license (s) from the AGCC.
Software Suppliers Certificate
All third party suppliers of gambling software are required to abtain an associate certificate and submit their software for approval against AGCC technical standards. Previous relevant testing from other regulators may be taken fully or partially into consideration. There is no requirement to form an Alderney company for purposes of applying for an associate certificate.
Required Fees and Taxes
Category 1 license fees are charged based on the annualized net gaming yield (NGY) of the licensee concerned, on the following scale:
NGY up to £1 million — annual fee — £35,000;
NGY of £1 million to £5 million — annual fee £70,000;
NGY of £5million to £7.5 million — annual fee £100,000;
NGY in excess of £7.5 — annual fee £140,000.
Category 2 licenses (resident and non-resident) carry a fixed annual fee of £35,000.
Software Suppliers Certificate otherwise known as Associate Certificates cost £10,000 per annum. Each applicant only requires one certificate irrespective of the number of games supplied and approved.
Temporary Use License costs £10,000 per annum.
Alderney based licensees attract no corporation taxes, withholding taxes or gambling duties and there is no VAT.