The number of gambling businesses licensed by the Alderney Gambling Commission declined from 53 in 2018 to 33 in 2019, according to the regulator’s 2019 annual report.
The regulator issued six new licences, down from eight last year, and renewed a further 27. Among those whose licences lapsed in the period were Genting and Cashbet, as well as subsidiaries of suppliers such as Inspired Entertainment, International Game Technology and SG Digital's NYX Gaming Group.
During the year, the regulator said it dealt with 23 complaints against licensees, down from 39 in 2018. All complaints were dealt with without the need for a Commission hearing, it noted.
The Commission carried out 33 inspections of licensees' businesses during the year.
“These [inspections] demonstrated a high level of regulatory compliance by licensees and reaffirmed the importance of active operational controls,” the regulator said.
No sanctions against licensees, nor regulatory hearings or special investigations into businesses were carried out during the year, though the Commission imposed remedial measures on 86 occasions, relating to compliance with anti-money laundering or terrorism financing controls.
The Commission took in £4.0m through licence fees for the year, down 18.7% year-on-year. In addition, it took in £589,648 through fees charged to clients, down 4.7%, and £10458 in bank interest, up 27.7%.
As a result, the Commission’s overall revenue came to £4.6m, down 17.1%.
Its expenses, meanwhile, grew 4.5% to £2.6m. The regulator paid £1.8m in staff costs, up 3.1%. In addition, it paid Commissioners’ fees of £144,939, up 20.0%. Administrative expenses came to £198,218, up 8.1% while web hosting costs grew 107.8% to £183,649. Premises, furniture and equipment costs grew 13.8% to £89,355.
Conference and travel costs declined 13.0% to £100,410 while postage, stationery and telephone costs fell 21.3% to £22,256. Consultancy costs fell 45.4% to £6,127. with depreciation costs down by 51.9% to £56,407. As a result, the Commission’s earnings for the year came to £2.0m, down 35.1%.
Lord Faulkner of Worcester, chair of the Alderney Gambling Commission, said that despite the decline in licensees and income, the regulator is still optimistic for the future.
“Whilst 2019 was not without its challenges we look forward, and not back, to playing our part in this developing industry,” Faulkner said.