Alderney's e-gambling money could allow cost-cutting

TREASURY and Resources minister Gavin St Pier has suggested that Alderney’s improved infrastructure could mean diverting its e-gambling money to cash-hungry services such as its loss-making airport.

TREASURY and Resources minister Gavin St Pier has suggested that Alderney’s improved infrastructure could mean diverting its e-gambling money to cash-hungry services such as its loss-making airport.

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission generates money from issuing licenses to online gaming companies, and revenues last year topped £2m. The money is used solely to fund the island’s infrastructure projects.

Deputy St Pier, pictured, said that in the light of ‘considerable progress’ made to its infrastructure, the money could potentially be spent on the services that Guernsey delivers in Alderney.

In addition, he has indicated the possibility of a 10% cut to Alderney’s Guernsey-supplied revenue budget.

Alderney States politicians and its chief executive reacted unequivocally to his suggestions, questioning his belief in a newly robust infrastructure and the appropriateness of including Alderney’s budget in its departmental cost-cutting programme.

Comments for: "Alderney's e-gambling money could allow cost-cutting"

Watcher

If Alderney will not agree to fund some of their infrastructure instead of relying on handouts from us perhaps Guernsey should not allow them to keep their e'gaming servers in Guernsey - I would guess the Internet speeds in Alderney are woefully inadequate for such a venture. Quid pro quo?

Dani

You are misinformed. Alderney spends all its money from the gambling commission on capital projects as it says above. It's all ear marked for it. Guernsey is responsible for the airport there is an agreement in place. Gavin has been happily ignoring this. Yesterday he reportedly asked for money made by the commission which has nothing to do with Guernsey. Now he is suggesting how money that is not his to control is spent. To me it's outrageous.

I would also question what he considers to be new robust infrastructure. What is he on about?

Strange move for a prior non executive director of aurigny and chairman of Alderney electricity.

I think he is angling for something else. Surely he was not really silly enough to ask for money which he was not entitled? He is a smart man. Its already creating a undeserved hostility towards the island as your post shows. Wonder what he's trying to really achieve.

Confused

Watcher, you may want to suggest this to Cable & Wireless or Itex I am sure they would happily tell you to go jump, they make a fortune from the Gaming servers being based in Guernsey I seem to remember a £20 million figure being suggested a while ago, so if you want to take that sort of gross income out of Guernsey then I am sure Jersey will happily take it. In fact Alderney should get some of the Taxes generated by this infrastructure. Your statement is silly and makes no sense

Watcher

Sorry Confused, I did not realize that the e'gaming industry was worth such sums of money to Guernsey. Indeed as Guernsey States have never to my knowledge debated the introduction of e'gaming to the Island and the industry is controlled and regulated from Alderney I am disturbed that yet again Guernsey appears, at least according to you, to be heavily involved in and benefitting from something that can only be described as yet another dubious activity. Perhaps you could direct me to the section in the Accounts of the States of Guernsey where the figure you mention can be verified? I remember ex-Deputy Graham Guille uncovering the sordid history of Full Tilt Poker, a company that has, following intervention by the regulatory authorities in Alderney, recently moved to the Isle of Man. Have we learned nothing from QROPS and the de minimus VAT problems? I am all for maximizing our income - but not at a cost to our hard-won reputation as a world class finance centre and, dare I suggest it, on-line gambling does not sit well alongside that reputation.

Town Dweller

Good to see the Rock making a living off the back of people gambling away their meager benefit handouts.

Gambling will be the next societal-ill for the governments of Western Europe to sort out.

PLP

Gambling addiction is already a major social issue TD. The problem is that it's relatively difficult to spot (compared to say alcohol addiction) as there's no obvious physical symptoms.

I'd still far rather have a regulated industry then forcing gambling underground. The only thing I wish is that they wouldn't allow gambling companies pretty much a free reign with advertising - particularly around sport where there's a lot of children and young people.

Pete

I will only believe that Alderney airport runs at a loss when they actually publish the accounts publicly. if guernsey refuse to publish them then there must be something to hide.

Also Guernsey public need to be aware that alderney residents pay all there tax's to guernsey, all tax's on cigarretes and alcohol go to guernsey, T.R.P paid to guernsey, fuel duty (you guessed it) to guernsey. Everything is paid to guernsey yet nobody in Alderney has any rights in guernsey. (seems really fair doesn't it).

Ed

If you'd care to read the article, Watcher, you'd see that we pay for our infrastructure projects ourselves using our money.

Your suggestion of forbidding the use of Guernsey for egaming servers is not terribly perceptive, given that Alderney would then lose a whole load more revenue and would have to depend more on Guernsey!

It isn't a question of 'agreeing' to fund ourselves; we aren't lining our pockets with Guernsey's money... you'll find far more fast cars and flash lifestyles on the larger island. We do what we can with limited resources, a declining population and a biting economic recession the likes of which Guernsey has simply never seen.

Alderney is by no means dripping with wealth at the moment. Your masochistic wish to make things worse up here is rather cruel. Please, think before you type.

Taff

And this is the same man who was briefly Chairman of AEL and created Directorships which add to the overall cost by £55K pa, and add £30 to the annual cost of each customer. Good man, Gavin. Financial genius, or not.

I suspect he is playing the hard man to try and soften us up - he should be ignored.

As for the airport, let us have a clear and public accounting for all the costs, including the charges made by Guernsey airport. Something I have asked for before, but they always refuse. Like the whole inter-island tax situation. Does Alderney gain or lose? No-one knows because the figures are never published, which suggests that Guernsey gains.

Alderney should be responsible for running it's own airport, and setting its own charges etc, and agreeing the costs of all services provided. Alderney airport is more important to Alderney, than Guernsey airport is to Guernsey. How else do people get here?

Having said that Guernsey has certain responsibilities which it cannot turn its back on, however convenient that may be.

And, finally, Guernsey has considerable benefits from operating the servers, Watcher. Did you not know that?

janice johnston

Cutting costs and savings could easily be made by sorting out medical appointments. Cheaper to send one medical staff member to Alderney than 10 patients to Guernsey in the same week.

Alderney Resident

In reply to Janice-is the medical staff member who you suggest comes to Alderney instead of patients travelling to Guernsey going to bring the CAT/MRI scanners with them.Our "hospital" doesn't carry out operations,babies are recommended to be born in Guernsey as there isn't back up if complications arise and specialist treatment is not available here.Alderney seems to be bottom of the list when it comes to spending in the Bailiwick,but hey,Guernsey can spend £80m on its airport yet the grass runway here is rumoured to be closing down because it needs £400k!! Alderney is struggling on many fronts and Mr St Pierre obviously had his eyes closed when he chaired Alderney Electricity if his view is everything is rosy here-I wonder how much of Alderney's taxes paid directly to Guernsey were lost in the £2.6m fraud?????????????

Dani

One way to improve the situation for both islands is to allow the TRP to be adjusted for Alderney businesses to a more suitable level so it is not burdensome as it currently is. The one size fits all approach does not work when economies differ.

In the long run the businesses are likely to be more successful if they have more money spare to reinvest and then more profits can be taxed and sent back to Guernsey. Win-Win all round.

Rees Bryant

Janice, what you suggest does happen to an extent. I was examined here by Mr Pring, who visits regularly, but the hip replacement had to be carried out in Guernsey because that is where all the expensive kit is - as my friend AR points out.

And the eye surgeons visit regularly in the same way, but operate in Guernsey.

Alderney residents get very good medical support from the staff on both Islands, but we can afford only one site for all the expensive kit that is needed. And it is no fun being stuck in a hospital away from home, but worth it.

Dani

Just seen the robust infrastructure he must be talking about on page two of the Guernsey Press.

Rees Bryant

Dani, Good idea on TRP, which was first mooted when TRP was being first thought of. I seem to remember a public meeting on Alderney when Lyndon Trott was told it would be counter-productive, but he laughed it off - I know best. Yeahh.

The Consultants advising also said very clearly that Alderney should have lower rates, but they were also ignored. Richard Cox, who was the Alderney rep, also made the point. But to no avail.

The result, as they were told, is empty shops which contribute zero tax, so the total tax take is less, not more. And not only on Alderney - how about all the empty shops in St Peter Port?

Pretty basic commercial economics really. But will they learn? YMBJ = You must be joking!!