The United Kingdom has been known for long to be a hotbed of online gambling. Half of the UK population engages in betting, and it’s estimated that the UK gambling industry rakes £14bn a year from players. These statistics reflect how much gambling impact the UK economy and could be compared to other dominant UK sectors such as financial services and retail.
However, in June 2016, the cards came falling for the gambling industry after the Brexit vote which a majority (52%) voted in favour of the UK leaving the European Union. Brexit has had a trickledown effect on gambling more specifically on the following areas; taxation, legislation and Gibraltar. To learn about the Brexit vote effects, click here. The mentioned areas are of keen interest to many enthusiasts in the gambling industry; players, casinos, and other stakeholders. This article is an in-depth examination of the Brexit effect on online bingo in relation to taxation, legislation, and its impact on Gibraltar.
Regulation and Licensing
The UK has one of the most stringent rules that pertain to gambling. Players reviews from best UK bingo sites point out that regulation is a key consideration for an online bingo site. For that reason, bingo players have always wanted to play on UK online casinos because they are guaranteed that the casinos are compliant of UK Gambling Commission rules. However, the catch is that before the enactment of the gambling act of 2014, online casinos didn’t operate using a license from any EU member states. After the enactment of the act, online casinos operating in the UK were required to have a license from the UK Gambling Commission. It didn’t matter whether the casinos had a server within the UK or not, as long as they offered their services to UK players, they were required to have a license. Bingo players had to abandon playing since some of the UK casinos shifted moved to Malta, Gibraltar, and the Isle of Man. Of the three territories of Gibraltar is of interest in this analysis since it is a British overseas territory.
It’s a fact that Gibraltar is home to the best bingo sites. Low taxation rates, VAT exempt marketing expense among other favourable factors make Gibraltar an attracting zone for online bingo casinos. You can check some of the best UK bingo sites as well as new online bingo sites having their presence in Gibraltar on topratedbingosites.co.uk. You will find license bingo sites, casino with best bonuses among other good casino features. The list is long, so how are these casinos affected by Brexit?
During the Brexit vote in 2016, 95% of Gibraltarians voted in favour of remain. However, the final vote favoured the exit. The Gibraltarians could have had in mind that the gambling industry in Gibraltar contributes 25% of the GDP. Therefore, voting for an exit could have prompted the gambling companies from exiting. Even though the gambling industry only employs 10% of its staff from Gibraltar, they collect 40% of their revenues from the betting companies. However, there exist serious issues in Gibraltar yet to be solved such as huge tariffs, high cost of rent and limitation of free movement between Gibraltar and Spain.
EU member states such as Ireland, Sweden, and the Netherlands have enacted laws to protect the gambling industry in their jurisdictions. Such measures render the Gibraltar license almost obsolete since online bingo sites will be forced to acquire an additional license if they have to operate on such jurisdictions. The Brexit is clearly seen to have a double edge sword effect, on one side to have favoured the Brits in tackling overpopulation issues and multicurrency problem, but it has brought a negative impact on online gambling.
Effect on online bingo players
Players have always flocked to the over 9000 betting shops in the UK to try their luck in bingo games. However, Brexit may affect whether the betting shops and online bingo games remain open. This is because; betting companies operating in the UK will be required to have a new UK gambling license. This will affect players who are looking for new and existing best bingo sites to win on. This is because some casino may opt to abandon the UK market and some betting shops may close. How smooth the negotiations between UK and EU go, will have an impact on whether the betting companies stay or leave. If they leave, online bingo players will be affected.
The online gambling industry benefits if the EU remains united. However, if the UK cessation from EU happens to sail through successfully other member states of the EU may call for the same action. This will leave the EU disintegrated, and online bingo sites will incur a lot of expense setting bases in each country. These may end up being a costly exercise, and online casinos may abandon their presence in certain countries. The effect will be that online bingo player will no longer be in a position to take part in online bingo games.
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