The gambling giant bet365 has officially confirmed that it intends to keep its licence alongside what it described as a “meaningful operational presence” on the territory of Gibraltar, no matter it is to considerably downsize its business in the British Overseas Territory and relocate most of its business to Malta.
As revealed by the company, the gambling operator is to keep only around 100 of its 500 staff members who are employed in its offices in Gibraltar to date. Still, bet365 explained that it would retain its dual regulatory and licensing strategy position in both Malta and Gibraltar.
The statement regarding the gambling company’s Gibraltar-based employees follows a previous announcement which the operator made in May to confirm that tighter regulations in its domestic market alongside the recently emerged uncertainties associated with upcoming Brexit have pushed it to make this decision. A bet365 spokesperson has revealed that the company has had “constructive ongoing discussions” with the Government of Gibraltar and local gambling regulators in regard to its presence in the British Overseas Territory.
Only about 100 members of the company’s workforce in Gibraltar will keep their jobs at the gambling operator’s office on the Rock.
Upcoming Brexit to Cause Turbulence in All Businesses, Including Gambling
After denying previous speculations on the matter, in May 2019, bet365 finally confirmed plans for scaling down its Gibraltar business in order to relocate to Malta because of uncertainties surrounding the upcoming EU exodus of the UK.
At the time when the gambling giant confirmed its intentions to boost its Malta presence, it explained that the move is being taken to maintain its positions as a leading global gambling operator. In fact, bet365 is already present in Malta. It set up a local subsidiary – Hillside (New Media Malta) plc – several years ago and the country’s gambling regulator, Malta Gaming Authority, granted it with an operating licence.
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, the approaching Brexit has caused a lot of trouble for British gambling companies as they fear there could occur some difficulties associated with the exodus of the UK from the European Union, especially if it is a no-deal Brexit. The European Union exit of the country would probably affect the legal status of Gibraltar in the EU as well, as it is a British Overseas Territory and as such would lose the benefits which it as used as part of the European Union.
Should the UK leave the EU, all sort of arrangements regarding free trade and passage of people and goods between the UK and the rest of the EU member states, would be annulled. According to preliminary projections, this would bring serious disruptions in all sorts of businesses in the country, making Gibraltar a highly uncertain environment for gambling operations.
Since the 2016 Brexit vote of British citizens, Gibraltar has seen a number of online gambling companies cut ties with the British Overseas Territory and left it for more prominent locations.