With just a few weeks to go before the UK leaves the European Union, players and online gambling operators are concerned about what effect a hard Brexit might have on the UK’s gambling sector.
According to gambling and trade experts, a hard Brexit could result in serious problems for UK-based gambling websites. They could find themselves locked out of the EU (European Union).
Brexit and Hard Brexit
The word BREXIT stands for BRitain EXITing the EU. We refer to Brexit supporters as Brexiteers, while Brexit opponents are Remainers. Most businesses in the UK are Remainers.
A Hard Brexit means a Brexit with no trade deal. The UK would lose free access to the EU market.
If the UK left the EU with no trade deal, it would mean falling back to WTO rules. WTO is the World Trade Organization. For British companies and Britons in general, a Hard Brexit is a worst-case scenario.
Would a hard Brexit kill a spectacular decade?
According to topratedbingosites.co.uk, which analyzes the UK bingo market, remote betting grew from just £817 million in 2009 to £4.5 billion in 2017, making up over one-third of the whole industry.
This spectacular growth could come to a grinding halt if we have a hard Brexit.
UK gambling sector and WTO rules
For the UK gambling sector, WTO rules could mean the kiss of death, as far as keeping continental European customers is concerned.
According to Business Matters:
“The problem with retreating to WTO rules for gambling operators, according to Brussels gambling and trade lawyer Philippe Vlaemminck, is that gambling is excluded from any market-access commitments for services by the EU.”
”In other words, theoretically, any British company in the gambling industry can be excluded from taking part in any bidding process inside the European Union.”
With a hard Brexit, online gambling regulations could change significantly. The UK Government would have to decide whether EU residents should enjoy the same benefits as their British counterparts.
After Brexit, doors might close to online operators if there were any changes or updates to gaming tax laws. More prohibitive regulations, for example, could trigger an exodus from the British market.
Gambling Commission – Headline Findings
Other British territories
Other British territories, including Gibraltar and the Isle of man, could suffer significantly after Brexit. Gibraltar and the Isle of Man are home to many major online gambling websites.
Gibraltar is currently working on some contingency plans should a hard Brexit become a reality.
Hard Brexit may mean less government revenue
The UK gambling sector employs nearly 108,000 workers, according to the Gambling Commission. The sector pays billions of pounds each year in corporation tax (US English: corporate tax).
A hard Brexit could result in many thousands of job losses. The British Government would not only lose income tax revenue but also corporation tax revenue from the gambling industry.
A hard Brexit would also hurt most other sectors of the economy. Unemployment would definitely rise, while corporate profits would fall. Therefore, government tax revenues would shrink dramatically.