888 to Apply for Malta Gaming License

Staff Writer Industry News, 888 Casino 1,061

One of the world’s most popular online gaming operators and platform providers, 888 Holdings PLC Company, has announced they will apply for a Malta Gaming License as the date for Britain’s exit from the European Union approaches.

From Rock to Island

888 is based in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory, and the company fears of the negative impact by the UK’s exit from the EU.

The UK formally announced its withdrawal from the EU in March 2017 and their departure will be concluded in March 2019. Although the Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, speaks positively about its future as Europe’s biggest gambling hub and the UK government pledged to protect the island after their departure from EU, 888 decided to prepare a back-up plan.

The UK betting giant is keen to retain presence in the UK but they prepare to relocate their headquarters to Malta where cross-border of people, goods, services and capital is guaranteed in a post Brexit Europe.

Back-up Plan

Since 888 cannot control the political changes in the country and staying out of EU may become ineligible to hold regulatory licenses in certain EU jurisdictions, they are carrying out a back-up plan of obtaining a gaming license in Malta and establishing a server farm in Ireland in order to continue to serve European markets without any interruptions.

Gibraltar’s future after Brexit remains unclear and without the movement of 888’s base to Malta, the company’s ability to rely on EU freedom of services and establishment principles in supplying its services within EU will be limited therefore Malta is their alternative “dot com” licensing jurisdiction.

888 is not the only online gaming firm in Gibraltar.

NetEnt, Bet365,32Red, Ladbrokes, BetVector, Lottoland and many more are located on the island but these companies have different strategies. They don’t believe the Brexit will impact negatively on their financial growth and will deal with the challenges when the time comes.

The territory’s online gambling industry is its biggest employer and accounts for 25% of its GDP and most of the workers live across the border in Spain, so the future relies on Spain’s willingness to allow cross-border movement.

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