Perching on the tip of Spain, Gibraltar is home to about 33,000 Gibraltarians. The British Overseas Territory governs itself, for the most part, though it is defended by the British Government. Spain made an attempt to gain ownership of the territory twice, once in 1967 and most recently in 2002, but the Gibraltarians were emphatic in their response, which was a resounding “No”. What is it about Gibraltar that allows the small territory its wealthy independence?
History and Emergence of Online Gaming in Gibraltar
While Gibraltar’s economy used to be supported mainly by the British military, through the naval docks, nowadays it only accounts for less than ten percent of the local economy. One of the four main components of the economy – along with tourism, financial services, and shipping – is Gibraltar’s sprawling online gambling industry, which was purposefully coaxed into its current form by the Gibraltarian government.
Specifics of the Gaming Economy
The territory’s low tax rates, amongst other, specific motivations, have enticed a large number of online gambling sites and businesses. Specifically, the tax rate on end profits for internet casinos are 1%.
Over the last fifteen years, Gibraltar’s online gambling industry has grown to now produce an estimated 25% of the territory’s GDP, in addition to providing employment for thousands of people.
Created in 2005, the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) was corporatized only in 2013. It is an organization that advocates for the importance of gambling in Gibraltar’s economy and culture, and deals with groups from across the world. The GBGA’s members fund the collective themselves. Being partnered with the European Betting and Gaming Association, the GBGA is in fact the European organization’s first proponent and member.
The GBGA is adamant about promoting their native territory as a place of honor and quality for worldwide online gambling and betting businesses.
Recently, there has been a fairly noticeable surge of in-person tournaments in Gibraltar for the likes of poker and blackjack, as well as some other popular casino games.
In previous blackjack tournaments, Gibraltarians have consistently taken the number one spot – will this continue, or will the chain be broken and a new chain forged from the medal of victory?
Since online gambling sites play such a large part in Gibraltar’s economy, we could see a new trend of online tournaments taking place, with contestants from all over the world able to participate against Gibraltar’s best.
With this increased scope of competition, the tournament mindset could expand, further driving the culture and economy of Gibraltar in the direction of reliance upon gambling. Though it currently is an enormous boon to the small yet resilient territory, gambling’s associations with unsavory activity is a social emotion that has not yet been completely shed.