HOW HAVE JURISDICTIONS HANDLED RECORD GROWTH DURING THE PANDEMIC? Susan O’Leary – CEO Alderney eGambling
David Black – Managing Director EMEA, Continent 8 Technologies
Tony Ure – Head of eGaming, Digital Isle of Man
Andrew Lyman – Commissioner and Executive director at Government of Gibraltar
I would say jurisdictions have done a great job at helping providers roll out the necessary infrastructure to support the shift to online we have seen. This is certainly the case in the US where we have launched in over 10 states over the past 12 months, directly responding to regulation. At Continent 8, we have a first-to-market strategy in the US to enable our customers to capitalise on this fast-growing and rewarding market. This expansion was in part achieved through taking a robust approach to vendor selection and management; this is easier said than done, giving differing regulations and guidelines regarding work policies. But with the land-based gambling sector pretty much shut for much of last year, it presented an opportunity for US states to focus attention to online, fast-tracking regulation in some states.
While the past 12 months have definitely seen an increase in demand, it’s the way that the Alderney eGambling team are able to assist businesses that has set us apart. The well-known global businesses who come to us do so not only for our regulatory expertise, but for our knowledge, experience and network of connections across the entire eGaming ecosystem globally. Much of the work for the past 12 months has centred around businesses who are choosing to relocate, with Alderney eGambling advising on the licensing element as well as strategising and planning the logistics of the move. For some, relocation has meant a satellite office to support offices in other established jurisdictions. For others, it’s a relocation of the entire operation to the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The jurisdiction boasts a supportive Government, welcoming of new tech businesses and providing expertise on the ground through a network of agencies to enable seamless relocations. In the past 12 months, Locate Guernsey, the Bailiwick’s first port of call for relocations, has advised many new businesses looking to take advantage of the Bailiwick Islands’ Covid-free situation. 66
The Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) has employed more staff for a start. The increased applications and workloads have been resource heavy, and at a time when many businesses and the regulator were working from home, it did present some challenges. That said, there has been no slowing in application processing and we at Digital Isle of Man have bolstered our Strategic Partnerships team to support with incoming queries and leads. Managing the business needs of companies wanting to set up in the Isle of Man has also been a challenge. There has also been a lot of workers who have secured jobs in the Isle of Man and have needed to be assisted in being able to relocate here. We are continuing to work closely with the immigration office to make this transition as smooth as possible. HOW HAVE DIFFERENT JURISDICTIONS COPED WITH RECORD-BREAKING DEMAND OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS IN THE ONLINE GAMING SECTOR?
The Gibraltar Gambling Division worked very hard during lockdown to support both industry continuity arrangements and in the approval of new suppliers. This has served to cement Gibraltar as a business supportive jurisdiction which values the gambling industry as a major economic contributor.