Gibraltar Access to UK Gambling Market Guaranteed Until 2020

Published March 17, 2018 by Ivan P

Gibraltar Access to UK Gambling Market Guaranteed Until 2020

The promise by the UK Government guarantees Gibraltar will have free access to the country's gambling and financial markets over the next few years.

No involved parties seem immune to Brexit and its potential aftermath. This includes Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory located on Iberian Peninsula. The economy of this British territory relies heavily on online gambling and it was uncertain what would happen with casinos licensed by Gibraltar operating in the UK market. This uncertainty was dispersed, at least for the time being, as the UK government has agreed to guarantee Gibraltar a border-free access to online gambling and financial services markets until 2020. 

Doing Right by Gibraltar

Gibraltar is one of the gambling hubs of Europe despite its small size. There are more than 30 different gambling companies registered there and various operators employ more than 5,000 people. Around 25% of the overall GDP of Gibraltar comes from the gambling industry.

This is why the small overseas nation was particularly concerned about what implications would Brexit have on this particular branch and their ability to compete in the market. The reassurances from the UK Government have been more than welcomed, as they guarantee that Gibraltar would retain the free access to the market until at least 2020, by which time new agreements should be established.

By extending these guarantees, the UK has demonstrated their concern for the well-being of people of Gibraltar and their intentions to stand shoulder to shoulder with their overseas territory in the future developments. These efforts were welcomed and praised by Gibraltar's chief minister Fabian Picardo.

Facing Uncertain Future

Although this is an important development for Gibraltar, the future remains unclear for them and their standing on the global market as the Brexit chapter unveils. Although people of Gibraltar largely see themselves as British, 94% of them voted against leaving the EU.

This is no surprise, as a majority of those working in Gibraltar actually lives in Spain. Whether the territory is able to compete in the international gambling market in the future will depend greatly on Spain's willingness to allow cross-border movements. Depending on the direction things take, many companies could jump ships and join competition, such as Malta, where the cross-border movement of goods and services is guaranteed by EU treaties, which could have a devastating effect on the economy of Gibraltar.

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