Remote gambling operators based in Gibraltar remain committed to their homes in the British Overseas Territory despite the outcome of last month’s historic United Kingdom-wide referendum on membership of the European Union.
Gibraltar is home to more than 30 major online gambling providers including the likes of Bwin.Party, William Hill and Ladbrokes and the June 23 poll saw its 32,000 residents overwhelmingly vote to remain as a member of the 28-state trading bloc. However, the poll for the United Kingdom as a whole resulted in a 51.9% majority for exiting the Europe-wide single market, which is a move known as “Brexit”, and an eventual full break could see remote operators on “The Rock” face serious challenges in providing their services to players in other European Union-member states such as Germany, France and Ireland.
According to Albert Isola, Financial Services And Gaming Minister for Gibraltar, operators on “The Rock” intend to remain committed to the local remote gaming industry with several even considering expansion including the recruitment of additional staff or the leasing of new offices.
“Her Majesty’s Government Of Gibraltar has been working closely with the remote gambling industry in Gibraltar following the “Brexit” vote…and is pleased to confirm that the sector remains strongly committed to its Gibraltar operations,” read the statement from Isola. “Government has engaged with every operator in Gibraltar as well as with the Gibraltar Gaming And Betting Association to assure them of our support and vision for this sector in the short, medium and long term. This has been universally welcomed and operators have made it clear to us that they remain fully committed to Gibraltar and business continues as usual.”
The 2.6-square-mile territory on the south coast of Spain has been a part of the United Kingdom since 1713 and is seen as a tax haven for online gambling companies with operators paying only a 1% tax on turnover, which is capped at $563,210 while having a minimum payable of $112,600. In addition, remote gaming operators based in the enclave benefit by being able to offer their services to players in the European Union, which is a privilege that could be put at risk by any eventual full exit from the union.
“Her Majesty’s Government Of Gibraltar will continue to work with Her Majesty’s Government UK to ensure the best possible outcome from the ongoing discussions in the expectation that there will be little or no change to the current arrangements for those who live and work in or travel to Gibraltar and all the indications are that it really will be “business as usual”,” read the statement from Isola.
Isola additionally declared that the draft version of the jurisdiction’s Gambling Act Review, which was published earlier this year, remains in its consultation stage and will “definitely be proceeded with and further expanded” so as to ensure the territory’s regulatory, licensing and tax regimes “remain fit for purpose having regard to any new arrangements that Gibraltar may enjoy in the future”.
“While this Government and others believed that staying in the European Union is the better choice for economic development and growth, any move away from the European Union will provide new and different opportunities for our economy and we will ensure these are available to all our commercial sectors and Gibraltar remains a great place to locate a business,” read the statement from Isola.