Brexit is once again dominating everything in the United Kingdom, with the will they, won’t they leave debate still raging in parliament. As things stand, Britain is set to exit the EU imminently, but whether they’ll do so with a deal on the table or not remains to be seen.
Whatever transpires, there will be an impact, and it’s the iGaming industry which is the focus today. iGaming alone brings billions of pounds worth of revenue into Britain every year and has proven itself to be integral to the economy. There are, however, concerns that Brexit will have a somewhat negative impact here, causing monetary damage that could prove to be a disaster over the long-term.
There will undoubtedly have to be changes made to the regulatory framework that is currently in place, and this will, of course, have an effect moving forward. At the time of writing, there are more casinos and gaming platforms than ever before setting up, but they will be fewer and far between post Brexit. There will also be tax hikes and licence payment increases too, with current operators the ones to bear the brunt.
The reason for the tax hikes is because there will be multiple industries affected by Brexit, so the government will have no other option but to make adjustments to cover the losses caused as a result of leaving the European Union. Licence fees will also increase in an attempt to warn off jurisdictions jockeying for position within the UK gambling arena. The one thing which won’t change post-Brexit is the popularity of gambling and gaming, and this presents a massive opportunity for companies and jurisdictions to step in and attempt to grab their slice of the pie.
Britain will also have to discuss new deals with the Isle of Man and Malta two, both of which currently accommodate players from the United Kingdom. There will likely be a need for compromise from all parties. However, when dealing with The Isle of Man, their regulated operators and companies will most likely have nothing to worry about. Especially when it comes to entities like GVC Holdings PLC who is listed on London Stock Exchange and control huge casino brands which include PartyCasino. The government wants only reputable and trustworthy outfits to enter the population, and this is indeed the case where the Isle of Man is concerned.
There’s also uncertainty surrounding Gibraltar too, with the gaming scene at risk post Brexit. Most of the people who currently work there are from Spain, and therefore this could be a stumbling block moving forward as they need to be able to cross the border and back regularly. The only way to solve this would be to increase wages to cover costs incurred or provide free travel to and from work. Plus there are may be concerns about being able to buy the Spanish El Gordo lottery tickets!
The outlook, as things stand, isn’t fantastic for the iGaming sector. The market as a whole will undoubtedly take a big hit, and this will then cause an impact further down the chain. The competition within the UK market will immediately intensify, with companies and operators jockeying for position. There will also be question marks over the changes that will be put in place between the UK and EU for gaming and gambling regulations, with disputes highly likely.