888 considers relocating from Gibraltar to Malta post-Brexit
In an annual report by one of the world’s most popular online gaming operators & platform providers, 888 Holdings PLC Company, it was stated that they were considering a possibility that post-Brexit, they may have to move their headquarters from Gibraltar to Malta.
In the report, they highlighted the various risks that the European online gaming industry faced. One of them is currently the uncertainty of Brexit as most of their business is presently drawn from the UK. Although they stated they were considering moving their headquarters and license away from the Rock, they will still retain some presence there.
According to the report, it said: “The proposed status of Gibraltar in relation to the United Kingdom as a result of ‘Brexit’ is at present unclear. If 888 were to remain registered, licensed and operating in Gibraltar in these circumstances, its ability to rely on EU freedom of services/establishment principles in supplying its services within the EU will be limited.”
It went on to state: “Brexit could adversely affect economic or market conditions in the United Kingdom, Europe or globally and could contribute to instability in global financial markets, in particular until there is more certainty as to the form that Brexit will take and its effect on Gibraltar, the United Kingdom and the EU. Malta may be considered as an alternative ‘dot com’ licensing jurisdiction.”
There are currently around 30 leading iGaming and sports betting companies regulated and licensed in Gibraltar including BetVictor, Ladbrokes, 32Red, Bet365, Yggdrasil, NetEnt, Bwin and Lottoland to name a few.
Not every gaming company in Gibraltar predicts the same post-Brexit future for their company as 888 Holdings. Bwin’s GVC Holdings group stated: “Beyond the impact of currency movements there has been no visible impact on the business from the UK’s decision to seek an exit from the EU. The Group has greater sterling costs than revenues and therefore the impact from sterling weakness is a net positive. The detail of how the UK intends to exit the EU is yet to be decided, however, management believe GVC’s global footprint gives it significant flexibility to face any challenges that may arise.”
In the meantime, Lottoland, which offers the world’s biggest jackpots and attracts around four million players has confirmed their loyalty to the Rock. Its operating base is located in Gibraltar’s Ocean Village Marina development with over 160 employees.
Nigel Birrell, Lottoland CEO stated: “We began operating from Gibraltar in May 2013 and it has been the perfect base for our business, providing an excellent platform for our success… Our business is thriving and the benefits of staying in Gibraltar remain very strong indeed.”
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