It would take someone to live under a rock not to hear of the word “Brexit” in the past years, especially in 2020. There had been news about it, and even people not from the United Kingdom had become interested and concerned about how the UK’s decision to move out of the European Union would play out.
One particular industry that has watched this thing unfold since day one in the industry of UK online casinos, along with other online gambling sites that have their interest in UK players or the country as their possible base of operations. Would Brexit have an impact on online gambling in the UK? To better understand this issue, one must first understand the gist of what Brexit is.
How does Brexit work?
From a technical perspective, the concept of Brexit has a broad and complex meaning behind it. However, it simply means that the United Kingdom is now to leave the European Union. For some people, the concept of the UK leaving the EU may no longer be a new thing, and the recent talks about Brexit might confuse them. So, is Brexit a new issue to discuss?
In reality, it is not. The UK had voted in a nationwide referendum to exit out of the EU way back in 2016. This even led the then Prime Minister David Cameron to resign from his position. However, the finer details of the separation were slowly implemented and polished and a lot of things remained in the same status, albeit a few adjustments, until December 31, 2020.
Brexit is not just about jurisdiction and governance. The larger part of the effect of this move by the UK is economic and has to do with trade across other nations that remain to be part of the EU. Among all these industries, one particular sector that would be affected is online gambling.
Should online gamblers worry about the future of the iGaming world? Here’s what you should know.
Does it mean anything bad for online gamblers?
One of the biggest worries of people, most players, is that the online gambling industry might take a huge hit due to the economic and trade changes that Brexit will ultimately bring. Some fear that this might spell doomsday for a lot of casino operators, seeing that a lot of online casinos and online bookmakers in the UK have their base of operations in Gibraltar.
As of now, Gibraltar remains to be UK territory, and Spain had expressed no objection to it staying with the UK, although its population originally voted to remain in the EU instead. However, the complications that its economy will most likely force the operations of several online gambling sites to move out of the territory, as the surrounding lands of Spain is part of the EU and moving in and out and may pose extra effort and maybe even expenses to the employees and operators of these sites.
Several big online gambling companies are expected to have restructured their Gibraltar-based operations and move them to other locations, with Malta being one of the top choices for the move.
On the other hand, those who have their base of operation in an EU country may face changes in taxes and regulations, with fewer bonuses and freebies as one possible end-consumer effect, for operators to at least balance out the increased costs of operations.
If you are concerned as to how your online gambling may be affected by the changes brought by Brexit, the best way to confirm any doubts is to reach out to your bookmaker or casino operator and inquiry about any future changes and adjustments.