All to play for

The Domicile Review 2006 offers an overview of the premier jurisdictions offering strong, attractive regulation with state-of-the-art telecommunications structures. This report does not cover every egaming domicile but aims to provide the important, factual information on some of the major jurisdictions.

A number of issues continue to have a significant impact on jurisdiction choice for egaming businesses. First, the much-debated UK Gambling Act 2005 has attracted acres of comment in the UK press and it will be fascinating to see how the industry reacts ahead of its 2007 implementation. Should the UK recognize the potential tax revenue and successfully introduce licensing and advertising then other European countries may well look to the possibility of legislation delivering the benefits of egaming domiciliation?
Second, in the US the progress of the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act through Congress will be closely followed. Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s proposed bill has been causing rumbles of worry, particularly among investors in the more high-profile listed entitles, for much of the year. But while prohibition looks a distant prospect, regulation seems to be even further over the horizon and the issues surrounding the situation in the US are destined to remain the subject of much conjecture for some time yet.

Finally, the possibility of European Union (EU) remote gaming players paying tax on any winnings from non-EU domiciled companies will also continue to provoke argument and probable regulatory development in the future.

The introduction of new gambling ordinances as a response to concerns about increased levels of gambling shows an industry that is willing to face up to its responsibilities. With regulators beginning to stipulate a variety of measures, this year ha seen jurisdictions such as Gibraltar introduce compulsory links to problem-gambling websites and minimum age warnings.

A maturing industry will need to persist in displaying a responsible and flexible approach to the regulators in each egaming jurisdiction. With poker continuing its upward trajectory and the growth in mobile gaming and wireless internet technology, the egaming industry continues to progress at a rapid rate and this will be reflected in the number of jurisdictions and what they each have to offer.