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Place Your Bets: Yet another Brexit Tale

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Yet another Brexit Tale: Bet365 has just given notice that it will be relocating most of its key functions to the islands of Malta.

As if to give shape to the worries and tensions of Brexit one of Gibraltar’s key internet gaming companies, bet365 has just given notice that it will be relocating most of its key functions to the islands of Malta.

At risk are up to 500 employees of which only 20 appear to be Gibraltarians who have been called for consultation as required by Gibraltarian law prior to a state of redundancy being declared.

For, on the 31st October 2019 the UK and Gibraltar will finally leave the EU. After the victory of Nigel Farage’s “Brexit party” (only 6 weeks old) and the decimation of some of the traditional British parties at the European elections, only a miracle or a disaster will stop the UK crashing out from the European project.

Brexit Gibraltar Tale: Bet 365 Relocating to Malta

On the other hand the Maltese Republic , an archipelago where once St. Paul was shipwrecked situate between Sicily and Libya will remain a Member State. So, certain businesses who want continued access to the EU see Malta as a substitute for Gibraltar; English language, some English common law, a well educated population.

There is no doubt that coming at this time bet365’s decision has had a psychological impact even though another major player on the Rock, Lottoland which has a staff of over 270 employees, from 30 countries, was quick to declare that it was staying in Gibraltar and recruiting.

Brexit will certainly not affect gaming companies which trade principally with the UK since they will continue to have access to that market. Ironically, Maltese based companies are setting up operations in Gibraltar precisely to secure continued access to the UK.

Place Your Bets: Bet 365 Relocates to Malta

This is of course no consolation to the bet365 staff who now face the possibility of moving away or losing their jobs or at least having to seek alternative employment here. Many of these people, young folk in the main have made homes among us in Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar.

They come from all corners of the world and enrich our societies on both sides of the frontier and are lucky to live in one of the most attractive parts of Europe. As Professor Fletcher of the University of Bournemouth has found, the wealth created by gaming and finance companies is not limited to Gibraltar but transcends into the economy of the whole of the Campo de Gibraltar.

Since the self-styled “Indiana Jones of Gambling” the pioneering Victor Chandler moved his operations from the Caribbean in 1999, Gibraltar has become the centre of excellence in the industry with a tightly regulated system under a dedicated Gambling Commissioner and state of the art laws which allow only “blue chip” companies in this jurisdiction.

Rock of Gibraltar

At the moment, no less than 25 of the world’s premier operators have bases in Gibraltar. In turn they generate business for dozens of other suppliers on both sides of the Frontier.

Online gaming in Gibraltar has been a success story of benefit to all of us. Even as we face the inevitable challenges after Brexit the people and politicians in this region must have the ability to mitigate the damage. Together we can do it and, who knows, even come out from the challenges even stronger.

Yet another Brexit Tale: Bet365 has just given notice that it will be relocating most of its key functions to the islands of Malta.

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