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European Gambling Industry Predicts Minimal Impact When Brexit Takes Effect

Brexit is just around the corner, and ever since the result of the referendum was announced there have been concerns about how the change would impact the British and European gambling landscapes.

Gaming companies in the UK have higher revenues than those of any other nation worldwide so it comes as no surprise that gamblers and operators alike have been worried about what the effects of Brexit could be.

The good news is, unlike most EU industries, the gambling sector has no central regulatory body. Each country uses its own licensing arrangements and laws. Therefore, it's unlikely that bettors in the UK will notice a lot of difference after the end of January 2020. For those who gamble with non-UK operators though, there's a chance that they may withdraw from the market.

The Position Of The UK's Gambling Industry

As the UK enters Brexit, its gambling industry is in a strong position. The UK Gambling Commission reports that the industry has a value of more than £15 billion a year, and few other markets have so many resources. This puts British gambling organizations in a strong position to manage well when Brexit hits. The UK's gambling industry is huge. Real cash slot games are especially popular with UK punters with a gross gambling yield of £2.8 billion in 2018 from gaming machines alone. The UK currently has Europe's most regulated gambling market so even when they leave the EU, there should be no major headaches when it comes to regulation – all of the procedures and laws that are in place will still be applicable. Not only that, but 2014's Gambling Act means the UK remains covered for any overseas-based operators who still wish to operate there. UK gambling companies are also leading the overseas market – some of the biggest and richest gambling operators are based in the UK, so the chances of the EU turning its back on them are low.

The EU's Gambling Position

The EU also has an enormous market share of the gambling market. The European market accounts for almost half of the world's online gambling revenue. It's unlikely, then, that in the short-term at least there will be few changes after Brexit when it comes to gambling in the EU. European companies that have UK licenses will carry on operating as normal while betting companies in the UK with relevant authorities or licenses in European countries will also continue operating within those markets.

The Problem Of Access

The only issue facing the gambling market post-Brexit is that of access. UK companies may have to set up EU-based offices and EU companies may need to establish UK-based offices if they are to go on offering services without restrictions. There may also be increased tariffs levied on profits as well as reduced access to overseas workers. While this won't impact on players, it will impact on the gambling operators themselves. Traditionally gambling companies have benefited from the Single Market, basing themselves across the EU to take advantage of cheaper employment and the different tax rules in other countries. Post-Brexit, the Single Market will be restricted or even eliminated completely in the UK. This will place extra restrictions on European companies that offer their gambling services to the British market. As a result, some European-based operators will almost certainly begin refusing UK players. This will also apply vice versa. Even in cases where operators remain in the UK, additional tariffs are sure to apply, and additional costs are likely to be passed onto customers in the form of fewer promotions and bonuses.

A Positive Outlook

Although there may be a few initial teething issues, there is a general consensus that Brexit won't have a major negative impact on gambling organizations. The primary issues will be procedural and working through them will simply involve negotiation. Of course, only time will be able to tell what impact Brexit will truly have on the industry, however for the moment, the outlook is quite optimistic.

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