The future of Gibraltar licensed companies which offer online gambling services in the UK has been uncertain due to the upcoming UK exit from the European Union.
The good news is the British government has recently made a decision to let the online gambling firms based on Gibraltar enjoy working freely in the country’s market until 2020.
Free Access to UK Market
Gibraltar gambling industry is estimated to constitute as much as 25% of the territory’s GDP, so it's quite understandable why they feared what would happen once Britain it out of the Union.
The UK’s decision also impacted the Gibraltar lotteries and gambling industry, and it was clear the consequences of that move would have to be assessed.
The UK government decided to guarantee Gibraltar a border-free access to online gambling, as well as the financial services markets.
Although a small territory, Gibraltar is one of Europe’s main online gambling hubs. The territory is the home to more than 30 different gambling companies, and this branch of economy employs more than 5000 people.
Britain reassured Gibraltar the free access to the market would be guaranteed until 2020, and by that time British government would create a new framework of regulations fit for the post-Brexit reality.
With this move, the UK government showed it stood by Gibraltar and that it would give support to the development of its overseas territory.
A Good Decision
Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said he believed that Brexit was a serious threat to country’s economy, and praised the government’s decision to ensure the free market access to Gibraltar-based companies.
Gibraltarians voted to remain in the Union by more than 94%, but being one of the United Kingdom overseas territory they fall under its jurisdiction and sovereignty. Such results didn’t come as a surprise since most of the workforce in Gibraltar were Spanish citizens.
Much of Gibraltar ability to compete in the international gambling market will depend on Spain’s decision whether to allow the cross-border movements.
The biggest threat to the economy of Gibraltar is the real possibility that many companies will take their business to Malta, an EU member.