Business uncertainty is taking its toll on the gambling operators of the UK and Ireland as Brexit chaos reigns supreme. The UK’s plan to exit the EU is casting a shadow on the gambling businesses, especially because the status taxes and regulation is unclear. Another problem related to jurisdiction will also be visible between Ireland and Northern Ireland, where there would be a hard EU border. A final resolution to the matter cannot be achieved until the UK finally leaves.
Gambling operators expect that they will be one of the most affected companies because of Brexit. They also think that the UK divorce will bring bureaucratic chaos their way, especially related to regulations, operating licenses and applicable gambling legislation. The tax regime of the UK and Ireland is also expected to change which could create a further escalation in their operators’ troubles.
However, gambling companies believe that the iGaming market would be big enough to offset the troubles that they suffer during the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. UK and Ireland are highly profitable markets for these companies, and if Brexit is finalized, it could turn out to be a problem area for the investors. The £14+ billion markets have become one of the largest revenue generators for both countries, thanks to the existing taxation policies.
The UK already has a large number of iGaming operators because of favorable regulatory climate, strict monitoring, control, and a safe playing environment. It is possible that these operators might be asked to move their headquarters to the UK or stop offering services, once local gambling laws become stricter. Some of these companies have already started moving to greener pastures like Gibraltar, Isle of Man and Malta.
Most online gambling companies which are operating almost exclusively in the British and Irish market are preferring to move to Malta, thanks to their relaxed regulatory regime for iGaming operators. This sector alone employs over 10,000 people in the country.