It would take someone who lives under a rock not to hear about the word “Brexit” in recent years, especially in 2020. There was news of it and even non-UK people were interested and concerned about how the UK's decision to leave the European Union would play out.
One particular industry that has been watching this thing since day one in the UK online casino industry, as well as other online gambling websites that have their interest in UK players or the country as a possible base of operations. Would Brexit affect online gambling in the UK? To better understand this issue, one must first understand the essence of Brexit.
How does Brexit work?
From a technical point of view, the concept of Brexit has a broad and complex meaning. However, it simply means that the UK is about to leave the European Union now. For some people, the concept of the UK leaving the EU may not be new and the recent Brexit talks may confuse them. Is Brexit a new topic?
In reality it isn't. Great Britain had already voted to leave the EU in a nationwide referendum in 2016. This even resulted in then Prime Minister David Cameron stepping down from his position. However, the finer details of the split were slowly implemented and polished, and many things remained in the same status through December 31, 2020, albeit with some adjustments.
Brexit is not just about jurisdiction and governance. Most of the impact of this move by Britain is economic and has to do with trade between other nations that have yet to be part of the EU. Among all of these industries, online gambling is a particularly affected sector.
Should online gamers worry about the future of the iGaming world? Here's what you should know:
Does that mean something bad for online gamers?
One of the biggest concerns of people, most of gamblers, is that the online gambling industry could take a big hit due to the economic and trade policy changes that Brexit will ultimately bring. Some fear that this could mean the end of the world for many casino operators as many UK online casinos and bookmakers are based in Gibraltar.
Up until now, Gibraltar remains British territory and Spain has not expressed any objection to staying in the UK, despite the fact that its people originally voted to stay in the EU instead. The complications that the economy brings will most likely force the operation of several online gambling websites to leave the area as the surrounding countries of Spain are part of the EU and move in and out, adding extra efforts and possibly even costs can to the employees and operators of these locations.
Several major online gambling companies are expected to have restructured their operations in Gibraltar and moved to other locations, with Malta being one of the top options for this move.
On the flip side, those based in an EU country may face changes in taxes and regulations with fewer bonuses and freebies as a possible end-user effect, so operators can at least offset the increased operating costs.
If you are concerned about how the changes brought about by Brexit could affect your online gambling, the best way to confirm any doubts is to contact your bookmaker or casino operator and inquire about future changes and adjustments.