There have been a lot of developments in recent years. It seems like we’re sitting a rollercoaster. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve almost forgotten the other political issue of the day: Brexit. It will have a lot of impact on the many casinos of the United Kingdom. What are the consequences of Brexit for the casino industry?
Possible relocation of casino operators
First of all, there will be a possible relocation of casino operators, whether they’re land-based or online. A number of British online casinos belong to important operators. They have visitors from players from all over the European Union. After Brexit, it may be more attractive for these operators to move to an EU country so that they can still offer their activities within the EU.
Problems for Gibraltar
Although it’s tiny, Gibraltar plays an important role in the casino industry, especially when it comes to Brexit and British casinos. After new gambling legislation in 2005, the British overseas territory has become one of the most important centers in the online casino industry. Gibraltar still has certain membership rights in the area of free trade, but is not subject to other criteria of the EU treaties.
Termination of free access rights
When the UK leaves the EU, Gibraltar will also leave the EU. And this could have serious consequences for the overseas gambling sector. The territory has already lost some licenses due to recent international mergers and acquisitions, and the Gibraltar minister in charge expects more such deals with consequences for the local gambling economy. With the upcoming Brexit, it could very well be that the free access rights held by operators based in Gibraltar will be terminated.
The Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is important to take into account as well. This island is home to one of the largest online poker providers in the world. With the Brexit, it may have to move to a jurisdiction where there is free access to the EU market.
Britain has very strict regulations for its gambling sector. It did so for many years outside the EU. This is why some believe that the Brexit would only have a limited impact on the sector. But since 2014, every gambling company that wants to operate in the country must have a license from the UK Gambling Commission. If Britain leaves the EU, then every gambling company must first apply for a new license. This could mean that the British gambling market suddenly shrinks dramatically.
Change of rules
Many European rules on anti-money laundering, the protection of personal data and payments also apply in Great Britain. If those provisions dissappear, the rules are likely to change a lot.
And then there’s the gambling tax in the United Kingdom. When that tax was changed in 2014, some online gambling companies closed their doors to British players. If the legislation surrounding that tax changes again after the Brexit, more gambling companies may be leaving the UK online gambling market.