iGaming Business – The European Commission has extended its investigation into whether the corporate tax regime of Gibraltar favours certain companies, breaching European Union state aid rules.

According to the Reuters news agency, the EU executive will investigate a practice that enables companies to ask for advance conformation of whether certain income is subject to tax in the British Overseas Territory.

Gibraltar is part of the EU through its relationship with the UK, but is excluded from a number of policy areas.

The extension comes at a time when the EU is stepping up its campaign against what some of its member states consider to be unfair tax competition and the facilitations of corporate tax avoidance by some countries in Europe.

Gibraltar has become a popular base for online gambling companies, many of which have relocated to the British Overseas Territory in order to take advantage of relaxed tax regulations.

The Commission said it has so far assessed 165 tax rulings granted by the Gibraltar tax authorities to different companies in 2011, 2012 and up to August 2013, adding that it has concerns that all these rulings may contain state aid.