The online gambling industry has come a long way from the mid ‘90s to today’s transparent, regulated, multi licenced and multi million-dollar business. Today’s businesses are a product of the developments in operational processes and control and compliance checks that have been required by regulators following the legalisation of the industry in various jurisdictions. Many businesses are listed and follow the corporate governance rules required by Public Listed Companies.
The industry is divided in a number of ways, and it is not necessarily as obvious as it seems. At first glance there appears to be either Casino games or Sportsbook businesses but, in actual fact, there are many more aspects to the industry including lotteries, bingo and a plethora of social games, apps, console games and fantasy sports. They can be played for fun or money so the lines of social playing and gambling can blur, which is where cutting edge legislation is really important for both the industry and the consumer. In short, eGaming is not just about gambling, and by taking a broader view of the future of the industry, Jersey can adapt as the industry adapts.
The industry further divides into business-to-business (B2B), or business to consumer (B2C). These are overlaid with platform providers, operators, white label providers and many other service industries. This is a simplified view of the landscape and yet already quite complex. Gaming companies therefore have to consider the location of the business and the regulatory environment they operate under and how that works for them and their target markets. This starts to paint a picture where specific jurisdictions might become more attractive than others for certain activities. It is key for the regulatory environment to be able to react to new niches designed from innovation. More importantly, this builds a picture where the decision is not really about a licence cost, it's more about the complete environment and full package on offer – this is why Jersey is different and where Jersey stands out from all the other jurisdictions around the globe.
The appetite on the part of eGaming companies for a global hub to base their operations was reflected in the recent move of bet365 offshore, which, on the heels of UK legislation designed to keep eGaming onshore, was a rather ironic development. Yes onshore GGR has been growing, but so too is offshore GGR. The fact of the matter is that eGaming companies are shopping around for a place where they can coordinate Remote Gambling Licences for various markets, with as much ease, cost-effectiveness, and market access as possible. Jersey ticks all the boxes here.
In 2012 Jersey developed the most progressive remote gambling legislation in the world today; this was passed into law in 2013. It has been long understood that the UK would introduce a Place of Consumption tax, therefore Jersey has been quietly gearing up to launch its offering to coincide with this. Whilst detractors have been keen to point out that Jersey has missed the boat, in fact the opposite is true and this has formed part of Jersey's digital diversification strategy, as we look at the global market for eGaming rather than just the UK market.
Entering the eGaming market now is a strategic move for Jersey and not just a product of UK legislative circumstance. The industry is on the precipice of a great shift in platforms and markets and Jersey can lead the way in the emerging markets in Latin America, India and Asia, especially as mobile handset penetration is now fuelling growth there. In this respect, the fact that Jersey is a newcomer is actually attractive for some eGaming businesses: in an industry that is expanding at the rate of 40% a year, there is no shortage of new and fresh eGaming companies that are looking for a new and fresh regulator.
That said the Island is proud to offer a complete package to eGaming companies, providing a formidable combination of innovation and experience. The jurisdiction of Jersey has been designed to offer the most compelling location for businesses by providing the most highly competitive environment. A key component is the world-class financial services industry that provides relevant expertise on listing and M&A activity, and corporate service providers that manage trading companies or wealth management services for successful industry entrepreneurs. There is a depth of digital talent on the island and a commitment from government to grow the industry, with is a willingness to assist with skills and development underpinned by a multi million dollar innovation fund. Finally, there are excellent telecommunications, hosting and eGaming approved cloud infrastructures available, coupled with an enviable quality of life for those who decide to make Jersey their home.
And let’s be honest, if all businesses took the view that if they weren’t the first to the market or didn’t have an innovative entry then they might as well not bother, then the whole world would grind to a halt and we’d never progress at anything. This is not a gamble for Jersey but a real opportunity and should be embraced as such.
A more detailed summary of these attributes can be found here.
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