Gibraltar E-Commerce and E-Gaming
Gibraltar made firm plans in 2000 to develop the local e-commerce industry. The government officially announced that “significant opportunities” for e-commerce businesses would be forthcoming, and that Gibraltar will use Internet technology to become a major force in international commerce.
The government of Gibraltar backed up its claims on March 5, 2001 by passing the Electronic Commerce Ordinance, which had the goal of overtaking competing rivals, such as Malta and the Isle of Man. The ordinance legally recognized and facilitated the electronic storage and transfer of data, and it set forth a framework for electronic transactions and the acceptance of electronic signatures. Additionally, Gibraltar is part of the European Union (EU), so the territory also benefits from the laws governing all EU members.
The next step in the development of Gibraltar’s e-commerce industry was the establishment of the E-Business Advisory Council, which was hailed as a step in making the territory an international hub for online businesses.
So far, Gibraltar’s primary achievements in e-commerce have been in the online gaming and financial derivatives sectors. Several British companies have since relocated to the territory to take advantage of the tax breaks, the telecommunications infrastructure and the local support.
By 2010, several of the UK’s biggest names in online gaming had relocated to Gibraltar. The first was Victor Chandler, who has annual revenues of over 1 billion USD, but he was soon joined by Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill.
Today, Gibraltar hosts the largest online gaming business center in the world. This was made official when PartyGaming and Bwin Interactive merged to form Societas Europaea.
In 2004, Gibraltar broke into new territory when the London trading firm Mac Futures expanded into their jurisdiction with the opening of a 100-desk trading establishment.
Gibraltar has both geographical and infrastructural advantages that have made it a strong competitor in the world of e-commerce. Once the issue of the territory’s sovereignty is finally resolved, Gibraltar is set to become an international gateway for all forms of digital products.