Alderney Gambling Jurisdiction
Alderney is situated in the most northerly region of the Channel Islands and is a British Crown dependency.
It forms part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey a very small island approximately five kilometres (3 miles) long and two and a half kilometres (1.5 miles) wide with a total population of 2,400 people. Alderney is 16 kilometres (10 miles) from France and 97 kilometres (60 miles) from the south coast of England.
In May 2000 under the Gambling (Alderney) Law, 1999 the Alderney Gambling Control Commission was established. The Commission is independent and belongs to no political organization; on behalf of the state it regulates internet gambling. Today Alderney is considered to be the most reputable internet gambling jurisdiction, and also known as a white-listed jurisdiction since internet casinos that are licensed here must adhere to British and European Law.
The main responsibility of the Commission is “to maintain the integrity of the electronic gambling industry in Alderney.” It ensures that electronic gambling is conducted in a fair and honest manner; every aspect of electronic gambling must be without any criminal influence and the interest of punters enjoys top billing at all times.
At international level the Commission confers frequently with other regulatory bodies. It is a member of the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF), and the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR). The Commission also forges close knit ties with law enforcement agencies, especially those that regulate gambling and financial crime.
Four types of Licenses are issued by the Alderney Gaming Control Commission: full eGambling licenses, associate certificates, hosting certificates and restricted use eGambling licenses. The full eGambling license permits the holder to conduct gambling transactions which entails all forms of betting, gaming and to actively participate in any lottery. This type of license costs £70,000 per year.
The applicant is also responsible for the cost of the preliminary investigations. It is a two-phase process to issue a license. Phase one is known as a license application and has seven steps. It involves by registering a company in Alderney, the applicant is notified that they can apply for a license, application documents are submitted, meetings are held with the Commission’s officers and the officers launch an investigation. The last two steps evaluate the business plan, the management executives, the software providers and the corporate entities. Phase two is conducted simultaneously. It entails the approval of the internal control system and the gaming software must be in strict accordance with the guidelines and requirements of the commission and independent assessors.
The Alderney Commission continues to regulate the operations of its licensees even after they are issued. Player protection tops the list. The Alderney Commission investigates complaints by disgruntled players ensuring that internet casinos take the necessary precaution to combat underage gambling, problem gambling and also investigates player complaints.
Presently the Alderney jurisdiction has more than 41 licensees. The nature of these licensees in the internet gaming industry indicates the reputation Alderney currently enjoys. Some of the internet casinos we’ve partnered with are licensed here they are: Virgin Casino, Kerching Casino and, William Hill.
The AGCC strives to investigate all matters pertaining to online gambling. It’s fully aware that the internet gambling arena is an evolving one and keen to adapt to its changing needs. In 2009 it made certain amendments to the Alderney eGambling Ordinance and on April 1, 2011 these new regulations came into play. The amendments state that the new regulations enable the AGCC to compel its licensees to incorporate such applications and software that the commission deems suitable.
The AGCC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nevada Gaming Control Board in January 2011 that forges a close cooperation between the two regulatory organizations. The cooperation ensures that all nformation is shared, knowledge, skills and frequent visits and training is done on a regular basis.
Alderney is a shining example as to how income generated from the internet gambling industry can be utilized to benefit societies. Licensing fees and other income earned from internet casinos, sports betting sites and poker rooms were used to revamp Alderney’s commercial quay, it paid for a foster home for the elderly and has financed various other development projects. Beaman said Alderney’s online gambling industry has rubbed off on its neighboring island of Guernsey. “The benefit to the Bailiwick of the very substantial telecoms and server revenues generated by Alderney’s gambling industry is now recognized in Guernsey, which is to our advantage,” he concluded.
Today many of the online gambling industry’s top players are licensed by the AGCC such as premier software providers and internet gambling operators. They are International Game Technology whose casino software wing is WagerWorks and Virgin Games that operates its own internet casino, poker room and bingo hall.
In the event a player wants to lodge a complaint with the AGGC (Alderney Gambling Control Commission) the complaint will be handled in the following manner:
Step 1: An officer of the Commission shall, by establishing contact with the licensee or, as the case may be, an associate of the licensee and the complainant, attempt to resolve by agreement between the customer and the licensee or associate any dispute between them on which the complaint is based.
Step 2: Where the procedure set out in Step 1 is unsuccessful, the Executive Director of the Commission shall cause a full investigation of the complaint to be carried out by an officer of the Commission and, after consideration of a report about the complaint and the investigation thereof, he-
· shall make a preliminary determination of the matter in dispute between the customer and the eGambling licensee; and
· give written notice of that determination and the reasons for it to the customer and the licensee, at the same time asking them whether each accepts his determination.
Step 3: Where both the customer and the eGambling licensee accept the preliminary determination of the Executive Director, his determination shall be treated as final.
Step 4: Where one or both of the recipients of the Executive Director’s preliminary determination do not accept it, the complaint shall be referred to the Commissioners for hearing in accordance with Regulation 239
Where a complaint by a customer has been referred to the Commissioners for determination in accordance with Regulation 238(6)-
· by giving at least 14 days’ notice, a date, time and place for the hearing shall be notified by the Commission to the customer and the eGambling licensee;
· the complainant may elect to confine himself to making any written representations he wishes or may attend the hearing in person or through any representative; and
· the eGambling licensee may elect to confine itself to making any written representations it wishes or may attend the hearing through any representative.
At a hearing under Regulation 239-
· if the complainant attends, he shall make his representations first;
· a duly authorised officer of the Commission, in person or through any representative, shall present his report about the investigation of the complaint and shall be permitted to ask questions of any attendee;
· if the eGambling licensee attends, he shall make his representations in response to the complaint after the conclusion of the officer’s presentation; and
· questions may be asked at any time by the Commissioners.
Unless the Commissioners otherwise direct, a hearing under this regulation shall be held in public in Alderney.
Determination of Complaint
At the conclusion of a hearing in accordance with Regulation 239, after taking into account everything said and lodged by, or on behalf of, the parties, the Commissioners shall determine-
· whether the customer’s complaint has been established in full or in part;
· what steps, if any, to take in relation to the eGambling licensee in accordance with other provisions of these Regulations; and
· whether to make any order about payment of the costs incurred by the Commission or, as the case may be, the customer making the complaint or the eGambling licensee.
In a case where the customer has attended before the Commissioners and they determine that his complaint was vexatious or frivolous or manifestly ill-founded, they may direct the customer to pay-
· a contribution towards the expenses incurred by the Commission in determining the complaint; and
· if sought by the eGambling licensee, a contribution to its costs incurred in appearing before the Commissioners.
Where the Commissioners determine that the customer’s complaint has been established in full or in part, they may direct-
· as part of the resolution of the dispute between the customer and the eGambling licensee, that the licensee compensates the customer for all or some of the costs he has incurred in making and pursuing his complaint; and
· that the licensee make a contribution towards the expenses incurred by the Commission in determining the complaint.
The Commission shall give the customer making the complaint and the eGambling licensee written notice of its decision under this regulation and of the reasons for it.
You can read more about the AGCC here: http://www.gamblingcontrol.org/players3.php[addtoany]