Gibraltar-based 888 To Apply for Maltese License as ‘Brexit Back-up Plan’
888, which is licensed by Gibraltar, has stated its intention to apply for a license in Malta, another online gaming jurisdiction, in response to the uncertainties that Brexit may bring to the British overseas territory located on the southernmost tip of Spain.
888 is taking no chances with the pending Brexit and its application of licensing in Malta. Heralding a worrying sign for Gibraltar, their largest employer in the online gambling industry, the company released its 2008 preliminary results report this week. The independence referendum for the United Kingdom leaving the EU has 888 taking measures in applying for a gaming licence in Malta and developing a server farm in Ireland. These steps were taken to guarantee continual service to European markets, keeping disruption minimal. The Valletta skyline at dusk, Malta, shines brightly in the background, a partial view of an uncertain future below. Image: Shutterstock.
Between A Rock and a Hard Place
‘The Rock’ has reaped numerous advantages from the free flow of people, goods and services allowed by EU membership, and so have its gambling licensees. Although some licensees have declared that they would still remain in Gibraltar, 888 might not be the only one to shift base. Although Gibraltar is an EU associate given its British-controlled territory, the country has no voice in the Brexit disagreement. Its population moderately voted in favor of the EU during the 2016 Brexit opinion poll, at a rate of 94 percent. Furthermore, they reflect themselves as being mainly British nationals, and repudiate any Spanish attempt to have mastery of the area. There are fears of an impending ‘Brexodus’ of dotcom.
Fears of Dotcom ‘Brexodus’
This week, 888 pointed out a potential “Brexodus” of dotcom companies from Gibraltar should the terms of Britain’s EU exit be unfavourable. In addition, Spain-with whom the UK has had its fair share of squabbles about Gibraltar’s sovereignty-could potentially wield its European Union voting authority to exact revenge on the region for its rejection of joint authority. 888 stated, “The status of Gibraltar as a result of Brexit remains uncertain. Recently, the European Union has apparently granted Spain a veto concerning the implementation of the switching measures that are accepted by the United Kingdom. This raises the possibility of a ‘hard Brexit’ for Gibraltar.” Furthermore, 888 suggested that “if it chose to retain its registration, licensing, and operation in Gibraltar under these conditions, its ability to rely on EU freedom of service and establishment principles as it provides services within the EU would be restricted.”
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