ecently, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission has issued the 100th e-gambling licence. What is the importance of this fact? What does this mean for you?
In itself it is not that important; I suppose we are a little surprised in a nice way to have got to this number as we did not think it possible a few years ago. We never wanted to get large numbers of operators unlike some jurisdictions, it was always about the quality of operators for us. We are very satisfied that we have issues 100 licenses to operators of the highest caliber.
What does Alderney make a better choice instead other Jurisdictions?
There are a number of things we offer which attract the best operators, we have enormous technical ability in terms of infrastructure and data centres with over £400,000,000 of further investment expected in the next 3 years. We have a very low tax regime which allows our operators to run profitable businesses in to all the European markets and further afield. Our regulators are acknowledged as being the most expert in their field and they have developed a licensing framework which is designed to reflect the needs of the sector today and not some outmoded system from 10 or 15 years ago. The result of these attributes combined is that we are the largest center for eGambling in the world with an array of the highest and best talent available.
A year after the black Friday, what can you tell us about Full Tilt Poker case?
We have recently published a report carried out by the former Chairman of the UK Gambling Authority, Peter Dean, and this clarified that our regulators had acted in a timely, proportionate manner and totally in accordance with the legislation and best practice. The report also highlighted the fact that no regulatory system can completely protect the players from harm through illegal actions and this was to be regretted. We are particularly sorry that players lost money and we are hopeful that the situation will improve for them and we are doing everything we can to assist in the recovery of monies.
Was Alderney's position in the gaming industry affected in any way?
I would have to say that in many ways it has improved, mainly as a result of the way in which we dealt with a very difficult situation. We understand the player’s frustration, even anger when it became clear that they were in danger of losing their money but other than that operators and other regulators saw the difficult situation that had been caused by FTP’s handling of their problems and did not transfer the blame to Alderney. At the very least it has shown that regulators need to talk more together, just as they do in the bricks and mortar environment and operators realise that they have to take further steps to protect the image and reputation of the sector. Together we are
What could be the future of Full Tilt Poker with new owners?
We would hope that if a deal can come together that the first thing the owners do is realise the loyalty of the players is paramount and that they do all that is possible to compensate the players but this is s personal view and it really is a matter for the owners to determine.
How will impact Alderney to the new and regulated Spanish market?
We have been dealing with these types of new markets for some years now, first the Italian market then the French, Denmark and many others. It has little negative impact and indeed we are thriving in this new environment. We saw this coming some time ago and realised, unlike others, that we had to adapt to survive and we introduced a radical new licensing framework which is proving to be a template for many new regulated markets. It is effective because it acknowledges and works with these new regulated markets not against them. We understand the right of countries to impose their own rules and regulations and yes taxes on gambling activity carried by their citizens and we work with them to provide high standards of probity and fair games and ensure full compliance with those countries laws. We are also helping these new regulators understand the specific issues they have to deal with and we have a very active educational exchange programme where we provide insight and training for online regulators.
What are Alderney Gambling Control Commission's objectives for this year?
As always we want to get better and the FTP issue has provided some valuable lessons for us and every regulator. We can never rest on our laurels and we have got to where we are through hard work and now is not the time to take it easy. We are now working with operators and service providers in many new markets and this is exciting for us and South American is an area which greatly interests us and we are seeing the first applications from software developers and operators who see the merits of being licensed through Alderney. Alderney’s reputation for the highest standards can offer new and established companies a serious market advantage and we want to meet as many operators as we can to explain our unique offering.
Anyone interested on reaching Mr. Le Prevost can contact him at [email protected]