One of the world’s largest online gambling operators, bet365 has undertaken a significant reshuffling of its operations. According to sources, bet365 is now mulling a possible shift of its base of operation from Gibraltar to Malta, following the impending divorce between the European Union and the United Kingdom is known as Brexit.
The Rumors Continue to Swirl
On Sunday, the Times of Malta, a respected national journal, suggested that bet365 may be deliberating a shake-up of its activities, hinting that it had been working on a property development deal.
The deal is said to be worth €70 million, and it will kick off as soon as the UK leaves the EU, the newspaper has suggested. This would have a significant impact on jobs, with some 1 thousand employees possibly being relocated to Malta if the new headquarters are open there.
Apart from that, the local economy will suffer a heavy blow. Meanwhile, Malta alone generates 12% of its income from gambling-related operations.
A Quick Look at the Past
bet365 is one of the highest-grossing operators in the world of gambling. The United Kingdom’s most profitable company has a long track record of maintaining good practices and abiding by the laws of the countries it operates in. The recent mulled switch towards Malta may signal that the company wants to ensure that its main market in the UK is completely safeguarded from the legal impasse.
The company obtained a license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) in 2015. It’s understandable why bet365 would seek to secure the segment in the United Kingdom and avoid unseemly situations where it takes a huge blow to its reputation and player base. By preparing itself for ill turn of events, the operators are staying smart and a few moves ahead of dithering lawmakers.
Gibraltar’s Account of What Is Happening
Currently, Gibraltar doesn’t expect the company to move. Responding to the latest round of rumors, the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation posted a statement, quoting the Gaming Minister Albert Isola.
Mr Isola has said that bet365 will remain entirely committed to Gibraltar and seek to continuously ensure that the jobs of the people involved in the sector are protected. Mr Isola even said that the article in the Times of Malta is in the wrong.
This is not the first time a Maltese newspaper has reported that a major operator would be willing to relocate their offices and the bulk of their activities from Gibraltar. At the end of March, Malta Today wrote that another UK giant, 888 had applied for a license from the MGA.
Malta Today looked through the company’s preliminary results for 2018, arguing that the Malta plan had already been set in motion. 888 has publicly acknowledged that it might need to re-calibrate its gambling strategy in purely legal terms in order to continue and provide UK gamblers with the service they have been accustomed to.
The scaremongering that Gibraltar may see the majority of its flagship operators leave is definitely unpalatable. While UK lawmakers are trying to negotiate a deal with the EU, Gibraltar may be hopeful of a ‘soft Brexit’.