Online gambling operator 888 Holdings utilized the report on its financial results for 2016 to reveal that the outcome of last year’s “Brexit” vote has forced it to begin considering the possibility of relocating its headquarters from the United Kingdom territory of Gibraltar to the European Union nation of Malta.
888 Holdings, which has been based in the British Overseas Territory since 2003, is responsible for numerous online gambling domains including 888Poker.com and 888Casino.com and explained that the result of the June referendum could lead to it becoming ineligible to offer its services to players in mainland Europe.
“The proposed status of Gibraltar in relation to the United Kingdom as a result of “Brexit” is at present unclear,” read a statement from 888 Holdings, which offers its services to players based in the European Union nations of Denmark, Romania, Ireland, Spain and Italy along with those in the American states of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. “If 888 [Holdings] was to remain registered, licensed and operating in Gibraltar in these circumstances, its ability to rely on European Union freedom of services/establishment principles in supplying its services within the European Union will be limited. Furthermore, it may become ineligible to continue to hold regulatory licenses in certain European Union jurisdictions.”
888 Holdings, which in January was forced to stop serving players in Australia as that nation was passing new legislation to ban online poker and casino games, further revealed that “Brexit” could moreover “adversely affect economic or market conditions in the United Kingdom, Europe or globally” while uncertainty over the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union could additionally contribute to “instability in global financial markets.”
“The ability to rely on European Union principles underpins 888 [Holdings’] regulatory strategy regarding major European Union markets,” read the statement from 888 Holdings. “888 [Holdings] would not be able to control or mitigate political changes of this nature. However, it would reconsider the appropriateness of remaining registered, licensed and operational in Gibraltar in these circumstances. Malta may be considered as an alternative “dot com” licensing jurisdiction.”
As for its 2016 financial results, 888 Holdings explained that overall revenues had grown by 13% year-on-year to stand at $520.8 million despite “significant adverse currency movements” while its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization improved by 12% to reach $90.2 million. All of this left it with a profit before tax of $59.2 million, which was a swell of 82% when compared with 2015, with the firm’s operating activities generating $68.1 million in net cash.
“The board believes that 888 [Holdings’] proprietary online gaming technology is second to none,” read a statement from Itai Frieberger, Chief Executive Officer for 888 Holdings. “This strength coupled with the group’s business analytics, customer relationship management and marketing expertise continues to provide the foundation for 888 Holdings’ competitive advantages. In such a dynamic and rapidly developing industry, continually investing in and developing our own world-class technology means that we are able to be nimble in relation to opportunities, respond to regulatory developments and create new, engaging and, above all, safe and secure entertainment for our customers.”