THE uncertainty surrounding Brexit is causing concern in many industries in the UK and the gambling industry is no exception.
If there is a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit, the World Trade Organisation rules would come into play and that could exclude many of the UK casino sites from Europe.
Business Matters points out that there are several possible scenarios, which could work for or against online casinos and the UK gambling industry in general. Changes in legislation and perhaps the tax rules are just two of them.
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Regulations and licensing
The UK Gambling Commission regulates the gaming industry in the UK and since 2014 any casino wanting to operate within the United Kingdom has had to be licensed by them.
This measure was introduced to protect players and the Commission advises that punters should only play in online casinos that have the appropriate licenses.
As SlotsJudge explains, the online casino in question should tell you where they’re licensed to operate. Many unlicensed casinos are operating illegally in the UK and you can find out very simply whether they are licensed or not on the Gambling Commission website.
The current license does not just apply to casinos with their servers in the UK but to all casinos that allow UK players to join. EU Business thinks there is a possibility that this regulation could be changed in the case of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit and that UK based players may not be able to access European sites.
The effect on Gibraltar
When the UK leaves Europe, so will Gibraltar, which is part of the UK. This could have a major impact on the gambling industry as many online casinos have their licenses there.
According to EU Reporter, much will depend on how the Spanish government reacts, if they make it more difficult to cross the border and if it changes its rules towards online gambling.
There are no EU-wide rules for the industry, but the attractiveness of being based in Gibraltar could well disappear: as many of 60% of the workers in the gambling industry live in Spain and cross the border to get to work and back.
This could have a huge impact on the economy of Gibraltar, although local Spanish politicians are keen to work on a solution.
Will Brexit damage the poker industry?
It appears that the online poker industry might suffer more than other gambling industries. This is another problem that Business Matters mentions.
If poker sites are not allowed to operate outside of the UK, this will mean there are fewer players in the tournaments. Fewer players’ results in lower prize pots and this could have an adverse effect on the profits of the operators.
As several of the largest poker sites are based in Gibraltar, this could be another long-term issue there. Will they be able to find the staff to run the tables, for instance?
Ultimately, only time will tell how the gambling industry will be affected by Brexit and you can be assured that all operators are doing their best to minimise any adverse effects.