Home Brexit Exploring the impact of brexit on the cross border sports betting industry

Exploring the impact of brexit on the cross border sports betting industry

by LLB staff reporter
6th Feb 23 7:54 am

There is little doubt that Brexit – Britain’s decision to leave the European Union – has had a major impact on many walks of life, not to mention businesses and industries. However, it may come as a surprise to learn that the betting industry has remained relatively immune to the host of changes and, therefore, inconveniences (to say the least) that have faced other industries. And that’s good news for the long list of betting companies – Irish and British among them – as listed here by bettingtop10.com/ie, that operate across the UK-Ireland border.

One of the main reasons the gaming and gambling sectors have been relatively untroubled is because, even prior to Brexit, there was no single EU-wide approach to licencing and regulating betting companies. Each country tended to operate its own commission – in the case of Ireland and the UK the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland and the UK Gambling respectively. For this reason, licencing laws tend to be different from state to state – Ireland and the UK too – and so Britain’s break from the EU has had no regulatory impact, which is good news for those huge number of sports betting operators who operate in both countries, or Irish betting firms that operate in Britain (or vice versa of course).

But what are the negative consequences, because there are some, of course. One of the most problematic is the issue of company registration, with Gibraltar the major headache. Gibraltar, part of the UK, has traditionally been popular for company registration due to its lower rate of tax in relation to the rest of the UK and the EU. But with Britain’s withdrawal from the Union, Gibraltar poses an issue as it is reported that up to 50% of workers at Gibraltar based betting operators actually cross over from mainland Spain every day. With the restrictions on movement that Brexit has brought about, this employment trend may be affected. And this very much affects Ireland’s casino industry too, among other affiliated businesses and industries.

And that is true in Britain too. With many betting operators targeting the lucrative UK market and having established bases in Britain, the new restrictions on movement across borders have had an impact on staffing. International expertise in the online gaming field is therefore subject to post-Brexit immigration rules, complicating the process of hiring the top talent. There are solutions, of course, with one example being the ability of UK firms to sponsor employees to fill the necessary roles.

But what does this really all mean when we break it down to the end user? What has been the impact on the huge number of customers that betting operators in the UK and Ireland boast? And what has been the impact on British and Irish bookies who operate in both jurisdictions? Well, the simple answer is that, for now at least, the impact has been minimal. Which is good news for the industry of course, as well as those who lend their custom to operators across the border, whichever way we are talking. Of course the industry and end users will need to keep abreast of changing legislation, and it’s likely that this will diverge further in a post-Brexit world, but the short-to-medium term outlook is good. Certainly from a UK-perspective the numbers that the industry has been posting are positive.


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