Industry Reports

Gibraltar Struggles to Save Proliferating Online Gambling Market amid Brexit Talks

The United Kingdom is one of the biggest gambling markets in Europe. Currently, the country is about to leave the European Union, which will undoubtedly transform Europe forever. The big question is how will this affect the gambling market. Before answering the question, it is important to note that six of Europe’s most prestigious gambling regulatory authorities are located in the United Kingdom.

Since 1998, Gibraltar has established a reputation of one of the most preferred destinations for online gambling companies. Nowadays, the British Overseas Territory has one of the most rapidly-growing economies in Europe. The main drive behind the proliferation of Gibraltar’s economy is the online gambling industry. For years, Gibraltar is attracting the attention of online gambling companies with low tax rates and a number of other incentives.

Currently, many industry observers are scratching their hands, wondering what effect will Brexit have on the online gambling market. What makes the situation even more complicated is the fact that Spain will most probably try to interfere. Gibraltar has found itself smack dab in the middle of territorial bickerings between the UK and Spain. Last year, Spain announced that it is to close its borders with Gibraltar, supposing that the UK put the wheels in motion and exit the EU. This will definitely trigger an exodus of operators and destroy Gibraltar’s reputation as a preferred destination for online gambling companies.

Gibraltar Seeks to Preserve Market Positions

Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Joseph Garcia has appointed the head of online gambling in Gibraltar Minister for Commerce Albert Isola to help find a solution to the problem. Needless to say, Gibraltar would like to preserve its market share in the online gambling sector. To do so, the Mediterranean island will need to work out a way to keep its ties with Europe, despite UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU. In that sense, Gibraltar is looking for a new form of relationship with the EU and the UK as Gibraltar is considered to be “one entity” with the UK.

To make the things even worse for the British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar is not the only crucial destination for the online betting companies. Malta appeared to be the other most preferred destination for online gambling companies, offering also low tax rates and financial incentives. Supposing that Gibraltar fails to keep its ties with the EU, Malta will take over its market positions as it will offer access to the European gambling market. Once being at the heart of the online gambling industry, now Gibraltar is fiercely struggling to save its reputation and economy.