How will Brexit affect the online gambling market in the UK?

Published on May 11, 2017 in Industry News

Online casino gambling and BrexitAs Brexit becomes more and more of a reality with each passing day, many have wondered what effect the departure from the EU will have on the online gambling market.

The online gambling market throughout Europe as a whole is a massive one that continues to grow constantly. A total worth of approximately €15 billion makes it one of the largest industries in the world. A huge portion of this gambling market is set in Gibraltar, often referred to as The Rock and the EU's Las Vegas.
 

In fact, the online gambling market based in Gibraltar accounts for a whopping 60% of the gambling market around the world!

Laying claim to Gibraltar

As the epicenter of the online gambling market in the EU, the main concern regarding online gambling once Brexit takes full effect is who will lay claim to Gibraltar.

For many years, the Spanish have attempted to claim Gibraltar as their own, but the British are pushing back in an attempt to keep the gambling hub for themselves. The large revenue produced by Gibraltar and it's more than 30 casino companies obviously makes it a powerful cash generator for whichever country has the rights over the territory once and for all.

With the recent signing of Brexit agreements and the impending changes, Britain and Spain will now be required to work together in making decision regarding Gibraltar's future.

Taxes have already been raised for Gibraltar as it was ruled in 2015 that they be taxed as Britain is taxed which forced companies to hand over more tax than ever before. The ruling also meant that operators had to acquire a UK gambling license in order to reach their UK customers.
 

A shift in power

While the fight for Gibraltar is under way, the largest operators and UK casinos are potentially planning to move away entirely and set up shop in countries such as Malta.

Executives and representatives from companies such as 888, William Hill, and others may be considering a move to a more stable and lucrative territory once Brexit comes into full effect. While there are no set plans as of yet, noises are being made which could prove to be an even bigger blow to the UK online gambling market.

Higher taxes and a potential loss of access to those within the UK make the possibility of staying in Gibraltar a slim one for many of these world-famous brands. 

There is much talk of Spain potentially creating an infrastructure that better supports and sustains online casino operators within their borders. This could quite possibly become a reality and cause an even larger shift in the industry.
 

The future of online gambling

Online gambling is an industry that easily takes its place as one of the most lucrative and quick-to-grow markets in the world. With a large portion of this market taking place within the EU, both online casino operators and players are uncertain as to what the ultimate outcome will be.

While there are no outcomes as of yet, and with none on the horizon for a few years to come, operators have been warned to make provision no matter which way the fate of the online gambling market swings.

For now, it's only a matter of waiting to see what will happen next and who will ultimately win the power struggle taking place.