Gibraltar’s gambling industry worried over Brexit

Gibraltar remains focused in avoiding Brexit.
Gibraltar remains focused in avoiding Brexit.

The government of Gibraltar said that local operators have already planned a worst-case scenario basis around Brexit.

Gibraltar.- The possible exit of the UK from the European Union has turned the world of some industries upside down. The gambling industry in Gibraltar is one of those who are worried about the effects of Brexit. Andrew Lyman, executive director of the Gibraltar government’s gambling division said that operators are already aware of a worst-case scenario.

Lyman said that there is more focus and some angst around “no-deal” planning and what it would mean at an individual level, Racing Post reported. “Most operators have already planned on a worst-case scenario basis,” he said.

“While the gambling industry, like many other service industries, was generally hoping for the withdrawal of Article 50 or for a managed exit, business planning has generally taken place on a worst-case scenario. The industry can deal with IT structures and EU licensing issues, but the border remains a concern.”

The issue with Spain’s border

The executive director explained that the possibility of closing the border with Spain is remote, but more friction is a possibility. “There has been encouraging political contact with Spain and, while things will be different and there will be teething problems, the issues are not considered to be insurmountable.”

CEO of Rank John O’Reilly added that for EU cities that travel across the border to work in Gibraltar, the challenge is “whether that is still going to be okay for everybody from November 1 onwards,” he said. “The assumption is that it will be and I know the Gibraltar government is doing everything it possibly can to ensure Gibraltar is unaffected after October 31 in the event of a no-deal Brexit. That is what we’re hoping is the case.”

A spokesperson for 365 added that they keep the intuition of operating in Gibraltar and that they have held constructive ongoing discussions with the local government. “Following very positive discussions with the chief minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo, the minister for gambling Albert Isola, and the gambling regulator we are to maintain our dual regulatory and licensing strategy position between Gibraltar and Malta and can confirm we will be maintaining a licensing and operational presence in Gibraltar.

”This will include retaining around 100 people in our Gibraltar offices. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the government of Gibraltar and the gambling regulator,” the spokesperson said.

Lyman says Gibraltar guarantees access to UK gambling market after Brexit

Lyman shared the views of the gambling division that it would be inadvisable for operators to think they had “any guarantees about being able to serve the UK from an EU27 jurisdiction.”

“The border remains an issue, particularly for Spanish right-wing parties, but it is hoped that economic sense will prevail. The industry has deep roots in Gibraltar and is welcome here – that counts for a lot at a corporate and individual level,” he added.

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BREXIT Gibraltar regulation UK