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Gibraltar is a very small country on the southernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula, south of the country of Spain. It is most famous for its landmark, the Rock of Gibraltar, and it’s also in a strategic location, where all ship traffic passing between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea must pass by, through the Strait of Gibraltar, a narrow waterway that connects these two bodies of water. (1)
While Gibraltar is a British territory, they are also a sovereign nation and make their own laws and have control over the governance of their country. Through their close association with the United Kingdom, though, together with their much more tax friendly attitude, this has allowed them to attract a lot of U.K. based businesses, and this eventually led to their also being a major online gambling hub for companies not only located in the U.K, but elsewhere as well.
Gambling is definitely big in Gibraltar these days and online gambling actually contributes the majority of this country’s GDP, and while this is a very small country indeed, that still is very impressive. This reach extends into poker as well, and several online poker sites are based out of here, including 888 Poker, the world’s second largest poker site.
So there are some big names in the world of online gambling that are licensed and regulated in Gibraltar, and encompasses all forms of online betting, poker, casino, and sports betting. They are big in all of these areas and have some of the biggest names in the business in the fold.
Things may not be as stable as they seem as far as online gambling licensing in Gibraltar goes, in light of the U.K.’s new gambling regulations. This may require operators to pay double taxation, to both Gibraltar and the U.K., and the U.K. regulations that stipulate this are being challenged in the U.K. courts.
It is feared that if this is not resolved, this may cause some operators, particularly some big U.K. based ones such as William Hill, to move out of Gibraltar and relocate elsewhere, in a jurisdiction with a better fit with the new U.K. gambling regulations, and perhaps even to the U.K. itself, given the size of that market and the desire to avoid paying additional tax. (2)
Playing Poker in Gibraltar
In spite of its very small size, with a population of only 30,000 people spread across 2.6 square miles, Gibraltar not only has a land-based casino, they have three. (3) Live poker is available at all 3 of them as well, although there isn’t a huge amount of action at any of them. (4)
However, poker players in Gibraltar who wish to play live poker, and in particular live tournament poker, don’t have far to travel at all, and in fact everything in Gibraltar is within a very short drive, and is even all within walking distance, that’s how small this country is.
In addition to the live poker action at the casinos, poker players living in Gibraltar can also play online. Given the government of Gibraltar’s role as a major online gambling jurisdiction, they are as permissive as they come when it comes to playing poker online, and they’d like to see everyone in the world play in fact, and that certainly includes their own people.
As far as domestic online gambling goes, in other words people in Gibraltar playing online poker, the amount of players in the country is way too small of a number for the government to even worry about, as they have a lot bigger fish to fry, licensing worldwide online gambling operations.
So players in Gibraltar can play wherever they want, at any online poker site of their choosing, without any interference from the government. Normally, 888 Poker or Party have been popular options for players in this country looking to gamble online.