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Among the islands that Guernsey consists of, Alderney is the one that factors in most prominently in the world of online gambling, and they are most famous for being the licensee and the regulator of the former incarnation of Full Tilt Poker, who were licensed here prior to their being closed down and later being bought out by the company that owns PokerStars.
Poker Stars is licensed and regulated in the Isle of Man though, which is a big competitor in the online gambling licensing business, and once bought out, and after Full Tilt lost their Alderney license, the new company then became licensed in the Isle of Man as well.
Guernsey is located in the Channel Islands, between England and France in the English Channel, along with sister island Jersey, who is also active in the global online gambling market, or at least in their case would like to be and are trying to establish themselves.
Both Guernsey and Alderney have their own separate parliaments though, and they also have their own gambling laws and gambling commissions. So in a real sense when we speak of Guernsey we are talking about two totally different sets of gambling regulations, and it’s actually Alderney that is most noteworthy to the world of gambling, due to their role as a gambling hub.
A third island, Sark, also does make its own laws, and is also looking to get involved in the online gambling arena, and in 2003 passed a law allowing for this, although they haven’t really had any success in attracting anyone, unlike their sister island Alderney. (2)
The island of Guernsey doesn’t get involved in licensing online sites, and their focus is domestic, and there’s really not a lot to focus on here really, as there is a very limited amount of gambling that goes on in Guernsey.
Alderney has always been the more organized of the two main islands here and has managed to attract a lot of offshore companies to its island, and a lot of non gambling companies, and is known as a financial hub in fact.
The gambling here is regulated by the Alderney Gaming Control Commission, which regulates offshore gambling in addition to domestic gambling, as opposed to the Guernsey Casino Gambling Control Commission, which has not been successful in attracting foreign interest, not that they seem to be looking to do so anyway. (3)
Playing Poker in Guernsey
The very name of this commission in Guernsey, with the word “casino” in there, speaks loudly to their focus there in fact, although there aren’t any casinos in Guernsey anyway. There is a little gambling that goes on but it’s not significant. It is illegal to operate a casino on the island of Guernsey without a license, and licenses aren’t being issued, nor is there any interest from anyone in obtaining one.
At one time Guernsey was expecting a casino to be built and updated their laws to accommodate this, but the deal fell through. It’s still legal to play casino games here, there just aren’t any to play at.
That can be said about all of Guernsey in fact, these are small islands with a very small total population and no real land based gambling to speak of. There’s plenty of gambling regulation though, and plenty of online gambling regulation in Alderney, but none of this has anything to do with people who actually live on these islands, as Alderney has its sights cast offshore, toward the rest of the world.
Alderney is actually still a pretty big player in the worldwide online gambling scene, and in addition to the sites they regulate, their expertise has been sought by such jurisdictions as the U.S. state of Nevada and the country of Denmark, who they have both formed associations with.
Online Poker Here for Residents?
The bottom line for poker players who live in Guernsey is that there is no organized live poker here, so players are limited to playing poker in home games or online. Online poker does provide for ample opportunity though provided you have a way to access the internet which most people do these days, either by way of a computer with an internet connection or on a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet.
There is no reason to think that poker players in Guernsey will have their online poker access restricted, or that the government will take action to try to limit this access, or access to being able to make financial transactions with online poker sites, as this is a country that benefits from offshore gambling, and is a strong supporter or it, rather than being an opponent of it as a lot of other countries are.
So players in Guernsey can just do what they’ve always done, which is to play as much online poker as they wish at whatever online poker site they wish to play at. There’s also no reason why this should ever change, so this is a great position to be in as a poker player, with nothing even on the long term horizon as far as an impediment to this freedom, which is something that should be appreciated. Our most recommended site for players here is definitely 888 Poker, which we review extensively to give you some nice background into the site itself before you sign up.