Alderney Continues to Prosper as Gambling Hub
Alderney, the most northern of the Channel Islands, has become a hi-tech internet hub for the online gambling industry. People who enjoy poker, slots and all other form of online gambling from all over the world are routed through Alderney’s servers.
There are almost 500 companies incorporated in Alderney, the majority of which are online gambling firms. According to the IMF companies on Alderney have over 3 million customers and in 2009 conducted around £2.1 billion worth of transfers.
Companies are mainly attracted to Alderney as there is no gambling or corporation taxes. A number of the industry leaders such as Unibet, Partygaming.bwin, Boylesports and Playtech operate from Alderney, and until recently perhaps the biggest name was Full Tilt Poker.
When Full Tilt Poker was shut down by the FBI on 15 April 2011 the news hit Alderney like a bombshell. Things became worse when it was discovered that around $350 million in player funds were missing from the company’s bank accounts. The head of Full Tilt, Ray Bitar, flew to the US last week to surrender to authorities and face charges.
Of course the Alderney authorities withdrew Full Tilt’s licenses, although this was not really necessary as the site has not been able to trade since they were shut down by US authorities. At the start the Alderney regulator tried to accommodate Full Tilt, which at the time accounted for almost 20% of the global online poker market.
Last month the head of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, John Godfrey, presented the annual report to the island’s parliament. He said that there is very little a regulator can do when they are provided with untruthful numbers. However, there was also good news; he noted that the AGCC has contributed £12m to the island over the last six years which has paid for essential work.
He believes that the number of license applications will continue to rise and that the AGCC will be able to provide high levels of funds to the island over the coming years.