With the date of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union getting closer, various issuers are popping up, with a variety of issues waiting for final decision.
One of these issues is related to the fate of Gibraltar as a prosperous gambling hub, especially considering the fact that it is a site of extensive cross-border movement. As Casino Guardian has previously reported, about 10,000 Spanish workers, mainly from La Línea de la Concepción, travel to Gibraltar on a daily basis, as they are employed in the local gambling sector.
For the time being, Gibraltar has a statute of British overseas territory but takes advantage of the benefits the UK has been given as a member state in the European Union (EU). The UK is one of the largest economic partners of Spain, with Gibraltar being a big hub for a number of industries, including gaming and online gambling, finance and insurance, etc.
For years, Gibraltar has been a preferred destination for some of the most successful British gambling giants thanks to its favourable regulatory and tax regime. It offers a corporate tax rate of 10%, which is much lower than the one in Spain, which currently is 25%. As a result, Spain has long found Gibraltar as a tax haven for a lot of businesses, especially considering the fact that the British overseas territory is also part of the European single market.
Gibraltar Could Be Granted Protocol for Privileged Access to EU
The Spanish position on the Gibraltar question has remained pretty much unchanged since before the referendum for Britain’s exit from the European Union took place. The British position is that the whole UK, including its overseas territories, must leave the EU with no intrusions made in the country’s sovereignty.
Spain, however, believes that Gibraltar should be given access to the European single market even after the country’s exit from the European Union, but for that, Spain must receive co-sovereignty on the territory, at least for a transitional period. The country is expected to get major strategic benefits thanks to the Gibraltar question, which would take effect as soon as the UK exits the EU on March 29th.
As Casino Guardian reported earlier, Gibraltar’s population voted for the territory to remain in the EU in 2016 but has also been willing to remain as part of the UK, rejecting both complete and partial Spanish sovereignty in 1967 and 2002. Gibraltar’s Government has also powers to impose a veto on any changes brought to the territory’s sovereignty.
It is still unknown what is to happen with Gibraltar’s gambling sector, which currently hosts a number of the largest gambling operators not only in the UK but also on a global scale. An exit from the UK could be lethal for the local gambling industry, which has been one of the most flourishing gambling markets in the UK. As a matter of fact, the British overseas territory could be given a special protocol providing it with unique privileged access to the EU customs union and the EU single market.
Whether or not this will happen, remains to be seen in the weeks to come.