Brexit Looms: Is iGaming Vulnerable?Published February 8, 2019 by Lee R
The British sectors have been preparing, and the sustainability and resilience of gaming is weighed here.
The impact of Brexit has been much speculated on, but now it's about to hit.
The Real Impact
What is being prognosticated in general is a “hard” Brexit as the only way the break is going to happen when Britain formally departs the EU March 29th, 2019.
State of iGaming
Online gambling is the sector expected to be impacted the most by Brexit, with a current rise to account for some 40% of the market for a huge £15 billion slice of the economy, with value growing at a rate of near 8% per year.
Horse Racing Vulnerability
Horse racing is the UK betting sector considered most vulnerable to Brexit. This is because transportation of horses between European borders has been seamless and integrated for some time now, particularly between France, Ireland and the UK.
Cross-border Racing Curtailed
A “hard” Brexit would obviously cancel out hinder seamless cross border movement, with the first impact post-Brexit hitting a week later at one of sport's greatest spectacles: the Grand National.
UK Regulation Structure
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will remain the largest and primary regulatory body to control UK casino, betting, poker, gaming and online gambling services. The Gambling Supervision Commission regulates the Isle of Man; the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority oversees Gibraltar, and the three bodies Alderney Gambling Control Commission, the Jersey Gambling Commission and the Guernsey Gambling Control Commission round out a transparent and sustainable infrastructure across Brexit-based changes in the economic landscape.
Gibraltar and the Isle of Man are seen as most vulnerable, as they have drawn gaming benefits equally from being members of the UK and EU, with Gibraltar having been deigned a long-time preferred hub for online operators due to its favourable regulatory and tax regime.
At this point, it is unclear whether Gibraltar will remain part of the UK post-Brexit, with 60% of the workers in its gambling industry commuting from Spain, a movement which would be severely curtailed by Brexit and lead to layoffs, with the same true for the Isle of Man, another popular hub for large gambling companies currently in possession of a UK operating license.
The way the regulation system realigns itself may be affected by some a mini “Gibrexit” or “Manexit,” but the infrastructure for continued and protected online gaming in the largest and most developed regulatory body in the world makes it appear that necessary adaptations will be incorporated once all the reactions are unveiled, and operators may need to adjust to some new rules at best for licensed operations to continue to flourish.