Home Business Insights & Advice Impact of Brexit on online gambling in the UK

Impact of Brexit on online gambling in the UK

by John Saunders
26th Apr 19 4:34 pm

Casino operators around the world are worried about the consequences that will happen when Britain exits the European Union. While many British large companies are optimistic about Brexit, let us check out the possible implications of Brexit on UK’s online gambling scenario. No one really knows the true extent of the impact, but most experts agree on a negative impact on the online gambling scenario. Keep on reading…

Impact on players

Post-Brexit many gambling companies might decrease the number of bonus and promotional features to cater to the changing tax laws in the UK. Some companies might even impose laws that might make it difficult for non-UK players to join them. Will you play your favourite online Roulette game if the bonus and promotional features are revamped? The online casino industry will be affected greatly. Many players will find the new offers unfavourable. Loyal gamblers might leave online casinos if they leave for Malta and other desirable regions, instead of London and Gibraltar. Only time will specify the extent of the impact on people due to Brexit.

Gibraltar will be affected

The Gambling Commission is responsible for regulating the UK Gambling industry. Since 2014, many gambling operations have been conducted offshores outside the UK. The Commission has put this hierarchy in place to protect players from fraudulent users and allow players to understand which casinos are reliable or not. The current legislation applies to casinos with UK servers as well as offshore casinos outside the UK.

As Gibraltar is a part of the UK and holds a number of casino licenses, it will be impacted greatly by Brexit. The effect will depend mainly on how Spain reacts to Brexit and whether or not they will make it more difficult to cross the border into Gibraltar (which will negatively affect their economy).

Change in rules and regulations

 The rules of the World Trade Organisation would come into play if the No Deal Brexit is passed. This would result in the exclusion of a number of UK casino sites from Europe due to the influx of new trade agreements and deals. Presently, we are unsure about the positive and negative effects on the gambling industry due to Brexit as a number of scenarios can play out. But, we are pretty sure that a No Deal Brexit will result in changes in the tax rules and legislation which would certainly impact the gambling industry in some way.

Goodbye single market!

Currently, the single market system in the UK (which is currently operational throughout Europe) gives gambling companies access to over 500 million people. This will change significantly when the UK has to leave the unified market after the Brexit. This will affect the gambling companies currently operating in Gibraltar significantly and will possibly force them to change their location. The gambling companies are currently keeping tabs on the Brexit situation and will act accordingly with the changing circumstances.

Rise of unsolicited activities

The traditional rules of the EU are devised in a way to protect players from black markets, fraudulent activities, and other unsolicited practices. The Commission is geared towards promoting strict laws against money laundering and other frauds. Post-Brexit, it is possible that the UK will become more vulnerable to such crimes.

Tax law change in Gibraltar

Gibraltar has attracted over 30 gambling companies due to low taxation. Before 2014, gambling operations (fixed odds) were taxed at only 1% of the total casino turnover. This is the main reason why companies such as bingo operators, casino operators and sportsbook operators found it profitable to stay in Gibraltar instead of crossing the border where the tax laws were higher. Since 2014, the tax percentage has increased a bit to stay in line with Britain’s laws. The tax laws will be revamped again (possibly even higher) when Brexit will be implemented in the UK.

Only time will tell how the gambling industries in the UK will deal with Brexit, but we can assure you that they are trying their level best to minimise the negative effects and offer you with the best gaming experience that you need so badly! Let us keep our hopes high during these uncertain times!

Please play responsibly. For more information and advice visit www.begambleaware.org

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