Online Gaming License & Regulation

/Online Gaming License & Regulation
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We offer online gaming  regulation
licensing in the following jurisdictions

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Online Gaming License

All online casinos are required to carry a gaming license within the jurisdiction of their business activity. Such that it turns out that most online casinos operate from small islands. The most popular destinations that offer casinos a regulated operational base are Gibraltar, Costa Rica, Antigua, Barbuda, Curacao, Malta, Seychelles, Belize and more.

The level of regulation differs in every jurisdiction, however what is important is that there is some sort of regulation that prevents a casino from not paying its players the winnings they deserve.

In recent years there has been an escalation in criminal activity in online casinos, thus a number of online gambling licensing organizations were set up to assist in minimizing the problem. Seeing as the industry manifested such a negative name for itself online, many countries still prohibit online gambling, such that most online gambling licenses come from offshore jurisdictions as mentioned above.

Most online casinos do possess an online gaming license which ensures the legitimacy of the business as it requires regular audits on the company’s management and general business conduct. The possession of a license ensures that the company is committed to conducting its business in a lawful and honest manner, which in turn gains the trust of its players therefore increasing the traffic and success of the website. Players who find the website user friendly and honest, will not hesitate to return to the site many times over. It should be the aim of the online casino owners to attain that high level of trust with its players to retain commitment to their site.

White Label – We offer referral to relevant white label gaming solution that includes licensing and payment service providers.
The casino white-label solution offers a large variety of turnkey online casino games that online casino site owners may be interested in fusing into their sites. If you are interested in launching an online gaming site, contact us and we will be happy to assist you throughout the process.

Gaming license

Gaming Regulatory Authorities across the world

In the following table we gathered all major and popular Gaming Regulatory Authorities across the world. We added the regulator homepage and s short summery for each regulator describing its operations and activity.

Regulator

Gambling Commission

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission regulates all land-based and online gambling establishments in the UK with the exception of sports betting. Land-based and Internet based gambling is legal in Britain and licensed by the Gambling Commission. The commission was established with the UK Gambling Act of 2005 and gained more responsibility when the Gambling Licensing and Advertising Bill was passed in 2014. The new Bill included reference to the Point-of-Consumption Tax which targeted British gaming companies which moved offshore, often to Gibraltar, to avoid paying gambling taxes in the UK. The Point-of-Consumption Tax requires a standard 15% taxation on revenue gained from British residents, no matter where the company was based. The new law caused an uproar among operators serving the UK online gambling market and some even left Britain. UK Gambling Commission licenses allow companies to set up their online gambling sites within UK territory and serve players in Britain and other parts of the world.

Regulator

Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau

The DICJ or Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau advises and assists the Chief Executive of Macao SAR on matters relating to the economic policies which apply to all forms of gaming, games of fortune, casinos etc. However Macau does not issue online gaming licenses and there is no legal framework to do so. Macau residents are not explicitly banned from using international sites.

Regulator

Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore

The Casino Control Regulations, otherwise known simply as “The Regulations” are set by the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore with the approval of the Minister of Home Affairs according to the Casino Act (Cap.33A). The Regulations lay down in detail the terms and requirements which must be met by casino operators and all those dealing with casinos (including vendors, employees and patrons). The Regulations are published in the Government Gazette and are enforced as law. Singapore residents must buy a daily permit for visiting online casinos but it is not impossible to bet online if you know where to look. Foreigners in Singapore can play online. In 2016 Singapore made a sweeping ban on remote gambling with certain exceptions which are tightly monitored. With the exception of Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club there is legislation to block access to gambling sites and stop electronic payments. Neither of the permitted websites can offer casino-style games or poker. Since the ban was put in place several hundred international sites have been blocked.

Regulator

Games Regulatory Authority Online

In France the Regulatory Authority for Online Games (ARJEL) is the authority which oversees all issues relating to online gaming. ARJEL was established by the French Gaming Act passed in May 2010 (otherwise referred to as Article 34 of Law #2010-476). ARJEL is comprised of seven permanent members appointed by the French President and is based in Paris. Three online gaming licenses are issued in France – online sports betting (pool betting, live betting and fixed odds betting); online poker games and horse racing betting.

Regulator

Financial Services and Gaming

The Lotteries and Gaming Authority operates under the government of Gibraltar’s Gaming Division. Many prominent gaming operators choose to incorporate and license their companies in Gibraltar. Although operators are attracted to Gibraltar because of the low licensing fees this does not give the governing authority incentive to play an active role in the industry. The Gibraltar authority responsible for online gaming has a bad track record and tarnished reputation in handling and managing player issues and disputes. Approximately 12% of the Gibraltar workforce is employed in online gambling and major bookmakers like William Hill and Ladbrokes are based here. So although the casinos licensed in Gibraltar are legitimate, if you end up having any dispute or problem with them the Gibraltar authority will not be much help to you.

Regulator

Malta Gaming Authority

The Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) is an acceptable regulator although they have not stood out as exemplary. LGA has a number of guidelines in place to protect players including insuring online casino transparency; casino fairness and that the casinos have enough funds to cover payments to players. However the Maltese authority will not assist in disputes between players and EU based companies although they will facilitate contact with the casino on your behalf.

Regulator

Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling

The Spanish regulator authority under the Ministry of Finance, General Directorate of Gaming Regulation and Supervision regulates Spain’s Internet gaming market. Spain is a popular licensing jurisdiction with many international gaming companies and is seen as a leading emerging market in the Internet gambling industry. There are rigid regulations and hefty taxation but the industry is strong with more than half of all online bets going on sports and poker.

Regulator

State Commission on Gambling

Online gambling was legalized in Bulgaria in 2012 but at the time no gambling regulatory infrastructure or taxation policy was implemented. Since then, in 2013, taxation and licensing policies have been finalized by Bulgarian lawmakers and regulators and in 2014 the Bulgarian Gambling Act made all forms of Internet gambling legal.The law provides for operators to officially obtain a gaming license in Bulgaria and legally operate gaming activities within Bulgarian territory. However advertizing online gaming is illegal.

Regulator

Curacao Internet Gambling Association

The independent Caribbean island nation of Curacao used to be part of the Netherlands Antilles. Since 2010 Curacao has an independent constitutional government but is a nominal part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and influenced by the legal system and practices of the Netherlands.Curacao has its own gaming authority – the Curacao Internet Gambling Association which was established in 2002 under the Curacao Gaming Control Board. Curacao is considered a trustworthy gaming license jurisdiction and a popular choice for offshore online gaming operators and startups located in Curacao. All forms of online gambling are legal and the government offers attractive packages for operators, network providers and software businesses. Companies can renegotiate their fees every two years

Regulator

Financial Services Regulatory Commission

This twin-island nation in the Caribbean was the first licensing jurisdiction for online casinos. The authorities appear committed to fair and transparent conduct in the gaming world. Their policies are somewhat superficial and include things like requiring online gaming operators to regulate the gaming age; advertize warnings about addictive gambling on their websites and information about where to get help with gaming addiction. However when it comes to software testing the authorities of Antique and Barbuda seem more concerned with security rather than fair gaming. Online gaming and e-commerce is big business in Antigua and Barbuda.

Regulator

Australian Capital Territory Gambling & Racing Commission

Most of the control over online gambling is delegated to Australia’s 6 states and 2 mainland territories which each have their own regulatory body. The Australian Capital Territory has a regulatory body for Internet gambling called ACT Gambling and Racing Commission; New South Wales has the Independent Liquor, Gaming Authority; Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission in Tasmania; Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation in Queensland; Northern Territory has the Licensing Commission of the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation; South Australia has the Independent Gambling Authority and the Victorian Commission for Liquor and Gambling Regulation in Victoria; Western Australia has the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor. Regulations vary from territory to territory and state to state, for example in the Australian Capital Territory online gaming businesses are charged high taxes and fees but the profits from the Australian gambling market offset those expenses.Each state or territory has its own regulations as well as having to abide by the country’s regulations. In Australia online gambling sites are governed by the Interactive Gaming Act of 2001 (IGA). Australian Internet casinos are forbidden from offering or advertising real money gambling to Australian citizens. However there is no law to prohibit Australian citizens from gambling on casino websites operated offshore. “Onshore” Australian based Internet gambling sites can legally only offer gaming to players outside of Australia. Australian gambling is extremely lucrative making this a highly sought after license. Australians spend more per capita on gambling than any other nation in the world.

Regulator

Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection

Latvia gained independence from Soviet rule in the early 90s and in 1998 the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection (IAUI) was established under the Ministry of Finance to govern gambling and lotteries within Latvia and issue licenses for gambling. The online gaming industry in Latvia is very lucrative. In 2003 online gambling was legalized and became regulated in Latvia. All gambling websites used by Latvian players must be licensed and pay Latvian tax on revenues. New regulations are under discussion and would introduce a heavy license fee but reduce revenue taxes. New regulations have banned IP addresses of unlicensed sites and restricted players to over 21 years old (rather than the earlier restriction of 18yrs). As of 2014 the IAUI has drawn up a blacklist of online gaming sites and is working to disable Latvian access to 102 online gambling sites. The Latvian authority is also becoming progressively choosier about who is issued with a license.

Regulator

Gaming Control Authority

The Gaming Control Authority falls under the Lithuanian Ministry of Finance and enforces state policy in regard to gaming and supervises gaming operations according to Latvian laws. The Gaming Control Authority is charged with protecting players’ rights and insuring transparent and fair gaming. According to an amendment to the gambling laws made in 2016 online gaming sites must obtain a remote gambling license to operate legally in Lithuania. The gaming authority endeavors to block money transactions to unlicensed online gambling businesses illegally offering Internet gambling in Lithuania.

Regulator

German Sports Betting Association (DSWV)

Until 2008 there was no regulation of gambling in Germany and the laws did not address online gambling. In 2011 one of Germany’s 16 constitutive states, Schleswig-Holstein (Hamburg) passed legislation allowing online sports betting, poker and a number of casino games. License applicants needed to be established in the EU and meet stringent standards. In 2012 the first number of operators were issued licenses according to Schleswig-Holstein’s Gambling Act for a period of 6 years and 20% tax on gross gaming revenues. In 2013 the Schleswig-Holstein government joined the other 15 German states in the Interstate Gambling Treaty of 2012. When joining the Treaty Schleswig-Holstein was bound to comply with national legislation and no more licenses were issued. The 36 licenses already issued remained valid and the operators can only offer gaming to residents of Schleswig-Holstein.As of January 2017 online gambling is illegal in Germany with the exception of those operating from Schleswig-Holstein. Online sports and horse betting is now offered to the German market by several international sports betting sites. Land-based gambling is legal and each state has its own lottery and sport-books provider. There is no official body which governs national gambling as each constitutive state has its own authoritative body.

Regulator

Gambling Supervision Commission (‘GSC’)

The Isle of Man maintains a strong regulatory authority with high standards making it a respected and popular jurisdiction for obtaining an online gambling license. The government also offers a range of attractive benefits to e-commerce and online gambling businesses. There is also a strong infrastructure and range of support services for the gambling industry. The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission and Department of Economic Development are among the few bodies which promote and encourage online gaming in the UK and abroad. The commission oversees land and Internet based gambling. Their key policies include keeping gambling crime-free; protecting underage gamblers and insuring gambling services are fair and offered by licensed operators.Since their establishment in 2001 the Isle of Man regulatory authority has made regular changes and updates to their policies in order to remain current and abreast of changes in the gambling industry. This insures player protection and a safe business environment for operators. The egaming Isle of man regulatory authority demands that operators meet rigorous requirements and pass a stringent vetting process to insure their credibility and ability to abide by the Isle of Man regulations. Among the requirements online gambling operators need to prove that they abide by fair business practices and that they have enough funds to cover all potential payments to all winning players upon request.

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Offshore Gaming License

Online gaming is an incredibly profitable venture and it is an increasingly growing sector. As the industry grows and more operators become established, new jurisdictions begin offering licensing for online gaming companies. Almost 80 countries around the world offer some type of gaming license and choosing the right jurisdiction to match your business needs, is no easy task. Some of the things you should take into consideration before selecting a jurisdiction are:

  • Your players’ residence. Online gaming operators are only allowed to market their services to residents of the jurisdiction from which they have obtained a license. If you plan to market your services as an online casino to residents of another country, then you must ensure that the gaming license you obtain, allows you to service players from that particular country or territory.
  • Costs. Online gaming licenses can cost anywhere between $15,000 and $100,000. In addition to licensing fees, there are yearly and monthly maintenance fees, costs involved in keeping a local office, professional staff, back office and other corporate costs. Before selecting your jurisdiction, make sure you have enough funds to obtain and maintain a license.
  • Your online casino\gaming branding. Depending on where your company is licensed, a certain image is attached to it. You may be perceived by clients differently if you hold a Curacao gaming license than if you have a gaming license from the UK for example..

Online Gaming License Requirements

Obtaining an online gaming license is a complex procedure and the requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction. Generally speaking no matter which egaming license jurisdiction you choose the basic requirements for obtaining an online gaming license are: proof that the business owners/directors/partners have no criminal record; a valid passport; bank references; a business plan or description of your proposed online egaming business; description of your target market; proof that measures are in place to prevent minors accessing the online gaming website and proof that you have the financial back-up. You must show that you have done due diligence in regard to anti-money laundering regulations, social responsibility and safe custody of customer funds.

In addition when applying for an online gaming license you will have to pay the application fee and once issued with a license you will have to pay for the license and renew it each year. The online gaming license requirements aim to set a high standard in the egaming industry; protect customer; guarantee that egaming websites are run by companies with financial stability and knowledge of the industry. The requirements have also been established to discourage applicants who may be involved in organized crime or illegal activity. In applying for an online gaming license you are required to show that you have integrity; are in good financial standing and have an ethical business record.

How can you obtain an online gaming license?

We are often asked by clients about the process of obtaining an online gambling license. While we make the process sound simple, the truth is it can be quite complex and expensive if you are not advised and guided by an online gaming regulation expert. GBO’s regulation team has vast experience in helping companies obtain gaming licenses from various jurisdictions around the world and can escort you throughout the process until your license is approved.

There are many variations in the process of obtaining a license, depending on the jurisdiction to which you decide to apply. Obtaining a sub-license from Curacao for example is much simpler than obtaining a gaming license from Gibraltar or the UK.

What is a remote gambling license and what operating licences do I need?

A remote gambling license is a type of license issued to operators that service players via the internet, the telephone, radio, television and other communication devices. Operators involved in remote gambling must obtain both a remote gambling license and a non-remote gambling license. The remote casino operating license must indicate the type of gambling the company is to be involved in and any other relevant conditions appropriate to each operator.

Operators not complying with remote gambling guidelines are treated the same as those violating non-remote gambling ones.

Costs involved in obtaining a remote gambling licence

The cost involved in obtaining a remote gambling license, also known as internet gambling license, vary widely according to several factors involved in the process of getting a licence to operate a gambling business. One factor that has a major impact on the cost of a gambling license is the jurisdiction in which you decide to become licensed, its approach to regulation, and the type of license offered by the authorities of that jurisdiction.

As an example, the cost of an offshore remote license in Curacao starts at about $22,000, whereas a remote gambling license issued by a country in the EU, like UK, Gibraltar or Malta can be a lot more expensive.

What is an offshore gaming license for online casinos?

A gaming license is an important indication of transparent business operations and that the gaming software offered to players is secure. This is why the first step followed by reliable online casino businesses when deciding to start a gaming business, is to obtain an online gambling license. An online gaming license allows your business to run a casino legally and provides the public with a feeling of trust, knowing that the operator is committed to a fair gaming policy.

Globally, there are numerous jurisdictions that will issue gambling licenses to online casinos. The most highly regarded jurisdictions are the UK and Curacao in the Caribbean. Online casino businesses must meet the requirements set forth by the jurisdiction in which they have decided to become licensed in order to be issued an online gambling license.

A crucial component to operating a successful online casino is the ability to collect funds online, for which you need a merchant account. Setting up a merchant account in a bank without a proper gambling license can prove to be an impossible task. Banks are very careful about who they conduct business with and tend to cooperate with partners who are acknowledged by a regulatory body in a certain jurisdiction.

Obtaining a remote gambling license (sub-license) in Curacao brings about many benefits, and while the cost of $20,000, is higher than that of other offshore jurisdictions, the provided benefits make this a jurisdiction of choice for many online casino companies.

Online Gaming License Background Check

One of the stages involved in applying for an egaming license is background checks on the applicant and in some cases also background checks of the company’s directors, shareholders and employees. This is to determine whether the applicant is a worthy candidate for an egaming license. The background check examines the applicant’s past financial records; net worth; business dealings; employment record; criminal history (including criminal conduct which did not result in a conviction) and general integrity.

In Malta for example applicants for an egaming license will need to undergo a “fit and proper exercise” in matters of finance and management. The jurisdiction where you are applying will most likely make enquiries with other national and international regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies to check your probity. There will be an in-depth analysis of your financial history and in some cases a financial audit and even finger prints can be required.
Applicants release all claim against the regulators for any liability resulting from their investigation. The investigation is done by either an in-house team or an outside agency conducts the inquiry. The investigators usually include individuals trained in law enforcement. The internet gaming license background check can take several months depending on the complexity of your history, the number of company individuals investigated and the jurisdiction resources. The background check process can include personal interviews with the applicant and other relevant parties. Internet gaming license background checks vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
If the background check reveals that you have submitted false information in your application then you are not likely to be issued an egaming license. If you are found to have been convicted of any crime your application is likely to be rejected. By applying for an internet gaming license the applicant is agreeing to full transparency and to accurate and complete disclosure of all requested information about shareholders, directors, employees and company owners. The background check is complete when the investigators have verifies that the information included in your application is accurate; detected any information you failed to submit and uncovered any illegal or unethical dealings you may have had specifically financial transactions, money laundering, bribery or tax evasion. It is always best to be completely transparent with the information you provide even if it is negative as the egaming license background check will undoubtedly uncover all information anyway

Obtaining an offshore gambling license involves a complex process that incorporates adherence to legal requirements of the online casino business and following the regulations established by a particular jurisdiction.

Obtaining a remote gambling license (sub-license) in Curacao brings about many benefits, and while the cost of $20,000, is higher than that of other offshore jurisdictions, the provided benefits make this a jurisdiction of choice for many online casino companies.

Online Gaming License Cost

The cost of an online gaming license varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and the cost of an egaming license can change. There is a fee for making the application and then once you have passed the screening process and your application has been approved there is the cost of the license which must be renewed each year. To make your internet gaming license application you will be required to present a number of documents. There may be a cost involved in obtaining copies of these documents. In addition of course there are fees paid to lawyers, notaries, certification costs, licensing agent and the cost of setting up your business – software, staff, banking fees etc.

You will also need the required capital to obtain an egaming license. When calculating the cost of your gaming license you need to look not only at the cost of the license itself but also at the cost of ongoing taxes in your chosen jurisdiction. There is no point getting an egaming license in a jurisdiction where the license is cheap only to discover that the taxation is crippling.

Here are some approximate figures to give you an idea of gaming license fees

Curacao has favorable tax laws (about 2% on net profits) and provides egaming licenses for about $20,000  set up fee and  a few thousands per month for the first two years.

In Malta the application fee for a new egaming license is approximately €2000 – €5000 . There are also all kind of additional services and therefor additional fees to be paid in advance. Then the fee per annum for the Internet gaming license is about €8,000 – €20,000

Don’t underestimate the Procedure and Cost of Getting a Gaming License

You may have read on Internet forums about low-cost gaming licenses available in places like Malta where you can pick up a gaming license for about €9,000 per annum. Well, don’t believe everything you read because it sounds too good to be true and it is. You cannot build a successful business by cutting corners or without careful planning. It is necessary to invest in any new venture to insure it has all the correct documentation, and is irreproachable. Here is a concise list of steps to follow and the necessary fees and taxes to consider when purchasing a gambling license.

  • Prepare to initiate the approval process at the relevant agency in the seat country (our partner attorneys in the seat country will handle the preparatory steps leading up to the approval process). You will need to prepare a number of documents for submission depending on the seat country. Among the information you will have to submit there is: your business plan and profit and loss plan for the first few years; software; measures for child and youth protection and addiction prevention; general terms and conditions of the gambling operation; credit record of the managing director; proof that you have sufficient capital in the event of distribution etc.
  • Approval process from initiation to receiving the license.
  • Establishment of a company in the seat country; insuring that the company meets the requirements of the seat country as defined by term/act/provision. Each seat country has its own specific regulations regarding the formation of a company.
  • Payment of government fees to the relevant agency in the seat country including gambling taxes and corporate/company taxes.
  • Additional fees in some countries may be required for the prescribed auditor, accounting fees, annual financial statement and preliminary VAT return.

Choosing a Gambling License Jurisdiction

For all forms of online gambling – poker rooms, sports betting, online casinos etc you must have a gambling license before you go live online. Online gambling licenses are issued by countries across the globe but the most popular are those issued by countries in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands like Antigua, Barbados, Costa Rica, St. Kitts, Dominica, Curacao and Vanuatu.  The ideal gambling license jurisdiction is one with a sensible approach to taxation; strong licensing laws; high technical standards and reasonable licensing costs.

For all forms of online gambling – poker rooms, sports betting, online casinos etc you must have a gambling license before you go live online. Online gambling licenses are issued by countries across the globe but the most popular are those issued by countries in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands like Antigua, Barbados, Costa Rica, St. Kitts, Dominica, Curacao and Vanuatu. The ideal gambling license jurisdiction is one with a sensible approach to taxation; strong licensing laws; high technical standards and reasonable licensing costs.

Why get a Gambling License for your Online Gambling Business at All?

Although you could go ahead and start an online casino, sports betting or poker site without a license here are three good reasons why it is essential to get your gambling license before you put your gambling business online.

  • Online players view websites with a gambling license as more reliable and likely to treat them fairly. Players have more confidence playing on a website with a license so they are more likely to visit the site and spend time there gambling.
  • Banks insist that online gambling companies have a gambling license when settling an account, opening a company account for a gambling business or receiving credit card payments.
  • In many countries it is illegal to operate a gambling business without a gambling license and breaking this law could lead to legal action, termination and criminal action.

Gaming License Application

The regulatory body will examine your business proposal to assess the viability of the operation. Background checks into your personal, professional and business history are often part of the gaming license application process. There is usually an in-depth financial analysis of your business plan which must go into detail including how you plan to handle marketing, who will be your target audience, measures you will take to prevent underage gambling and criminal activity on the website as well as how you aim to finance your endeavor. The rules, terms and conditions you will be imposing on your online games and the set-up of the gaming and control systems will also be examined. You will require a minimum capital sum and your online gaming application will include providing completely transparent financial information about your banking. Once you have obtained your license and your online gaming license application has been successful you can then go ahead with choosing a payment system provider; setting up a merchant bank account; designing your gaming website and implementing a marketing strategy.

To operate a legal online gaming website, businesses need to be in possession of a gaming license. You can apply for an online gaming license in a number of jurisdictions worldwide and although the application requirements vary slightly from place to place there are certain standard requirements for obtaining an egaming license. Gaming license applications can be made via a licensing agent; independently or sometimes even online. The gaming license application process can be complex and confusing. You will need to submit a number of documents and undergo personal and professional scrutiny before you are deemed worthy of an egaming license. First decide what form of online gaming your website will provide. Then select a jurisdiction where you intent to apply for your egaming license.

There are a number of popular online gaming license jurisdictions including Malta, the Isle of Man Gibraltar and Curacao. Apply for an online gaming license in the jurisdiction where you want to set up your business although as an online business you will probably be operating in many countries. Local legislation, where you register your company will prevail over international law in the event of any disputes. The application process for a gaming license can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. As part of the online gaming license application all information relating to your company and its owners, partners, shareholders and directors can come under scrutiny.

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2018-08-13T11:38:26+00:00