Apart from Leicester winning the 2015/16 EPL title with odds 5000-1, nothing has been more surprising in the UK in the last five years as much as Brexit. The decision to leave the European Union caused as a lot of ripples in the UK, with major companies fleeing London for other countries.
While almost every industry has been affected by Brexit, some industries have been hit more than others. Let’s find out how the major vote impacts the online gaming industries and their stakeholders.
Licensing and Regulations
The UK has strict gambling and gaming regulations that are often different than those offered in EU territories. Despite that, the region is home to some of the world’s largest gaming companies. If history is to repeat itself, many online gambling sites will choose to stay in the UK.
The way online gaming works makes a single license good enough to serve millions of customers from around the world. However, British gambling brands may feel the pinch if Europe decides to set lax rules for its members and tougher rules for other countries. In that case, UK online gambling sites will pay higher fees to operate in the European region.
But even in that case, it is unlikely the fees will be too high to force British firms out of the territory unlike the U.S. where this borgata bonus code is available. In 2014, a change in gaming taxes forced a few companies to exit Britain for other markets. But a majority of companies remained. Same case post-Brexit, some online gaming brands may leave but most will likely remain.
Impact on New Casinos
Despite the confusion thrown around Brexit, the UK is experiencing an upsurge of new online casinos. The website www.new-casinos.uk lists new gambling sites in the UK. This year alone, they have published more than 25 companies that have established bases in London or Gibraltar. The trend is likely to continue growing as long as the UK remains supportive of online gaming sites.
Last year, there had been reports that startups in the gaming industry were fearing to move to the UK. With Brexit in effect, the problem of free movement was poised to affect companies' abilities to find good talent.
The Gibraltar Situation
The British territory of Gibraltar gets 20%-25% of its annual tax revenue from online gaming industries. The territory also neighbors Spain, a thorn that often injures the relationship between Britain and Spain. In 2002, 98% of the people of Gibraltar voted not to be jointly ruled by both countries.
Brexit brings some confusion noting 95% of Gibraltar voted to remain a part of the EU. The online gambling industry in Gibraltar employs 3000+ people, and around 1800 of them live in Spain. With Brexit in effect, jobs could easily be lost.
If online gaming sites feel disadvantaged by Britain’s decision to leave the EU in any way, we could see major companies leaving for other countries. Spain could be the first decision with so many workers in the small rock coming from the country. Malta is, however, the number one destination for many gaming companies these days.
So far, there is yet to be a major online gaming brand exiting Gibraltar due to Brexit. Established firms Ladbrokes and Coral have already announced their intention to remain on the island. Major brand 888 had said they would consider a move away from Gibraltar if their finances are affected by Brexit. Bookmaker William Hill also announced they could move to Malta if Brexit’s situation disrupts their revenues. But none of the company is yet to move its headquarters away from the island.
Effect on Players
While gaming sites could leave Britain for Malta and other regions, little is likely to change in how players game. Some gaming sites have previously expressed fear loyalist gamers could desert them if they decide to leave London and Gibraltar but there is little to support the concerns.
Unless the gaming sites leave for countries with questionable licensing regulations, players will continue to gamble on the platforms. A Malta-based license, for example, is accorded the same respect as a UK-based license. In general, players around the world respect gambling sites with Europe-based licenses. In some cases, people still flock sites regulated by Caribbean-based countries.
The only reason players may leave UK-based gaming sites is if the companies change their business policies to disadvantage players. Some companies decrease the number of bonuses offered to cater for changes in UK’s taxes. A few companies could set rules that make it difficult for non-UK players to join them. But as it stands, gaming sites in the UK will strive to make players’ gaming experiences as great as possible.
Black Markets and other Crimes
The EU traditional sets rules that protect players against fraudulent startups, black markets, and other issues. The organization also imposes strict rules against money laundering and other forms of fraud. Will the UK become vulnerable to such crimes post-Brexit?
First of all, there exist global and country-imposed laws that prevent any crime-related activities among online businesses. World Trade Organization laws against anti-money laundering are enforced all around the world. As a region, the UK has strict rules for gaming and other industries. Britain enforces the rules steadfastly, ensuring all companies in the UK are transparent and legally operating.
The fact that the UK has established gambling rules leaves very little to change post-Brexit. Gaming companies will continue to comply with the country' tough laws. They must get licensed and toe the line if they want to remain in Britain. Of course, most of them will want to continue serving the huge British market. No country in Europe has as large a gaming market as the UK. Despite the few effects Brexit may bring along, many gaming sites will keep their ties with the UK.
Brexit remains one of the most impactful events in Britain’s modern history. The landmark vote in 2016 brought many changes to different industries. The online gaming industry seemed to have been affected the most.
Britain and its territories are home to some of the world’s most famous gaming sites. Some of the companies have already spoken about their reaction to Brexit. A few have expressed their intention to leave the UK should Brexit affect their finances. But as shown by the many new casinos starting in the UK, many gaming sites are in no hurry to leave the region
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