Gambling firms based in Gibraltar are considering moving their operations to Malta because of BREXIT. As a British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar could face consequences of the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU). Concerns were raised when 888 Holdings and Bet365 announced intentions to move a few operations to Malta.
Spain has reassured Gibraltar after talks between the EU and Britain. According to Spain, the gambling sector wouldn’t be impacted by drastic changes. Provisions made between the two countries will stay the same. However, this will depend on an agreement between the EU and the UK for a transition period and terms. Employees living in Spain, who work in the territory, will be most affected by BREXIT terms. Currently, 14 000 workers commute between Spain and Gibraltar.
Reassurances for Gambling in Gibraltar
With such a large work force from Spain dependant on jobs in Gibraltar, it’s no wonder that Spanish authorities have gotten involved. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has explained that keeping the situation intact is in his country’s best interest. Still, the terms of BREXIT will need to be finalised soon. Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, believes that a move without clear rules and agreements wouldn’t benefit any of the parties involved.
Further, Mr Picardo claims that ‘common sense has prevailed’, at least for the gambling sector. He also confirmed that both parties agreed on police, environmental and customs rules. Picardo was speaking at an event to attract investors in London when he shared this news.
Despite the reassurances, the announcements made by 888 and Bet365 is still a fear. After all, gambling is a big industry in the British territory. Earlier in 2018, Bet365 reportedly bought a large office space in Malta. However, the company claims that it will ‘keep a presence in Gibraltar’.
At the moment, Malta is a favoured location for online gambling operators, because of the tax regime. Since the announcement of BREXIT, Malta has become more attractive to operators. The country is considered a ‘main beneficiary’ of the UK’s planned move. Time will tell if Gibraltar can retain their presence in the industry.