Leading online bookmaker bet365, one of the biggest employers in Gibraltar, is reported to have sanctioned a multi-million relocation project to migrate its staff to Malta.
Issuing a statement, bet365 management has confirmed that it has undertaken relocating ‘certain functionalities’ to Malta as part of its ‘strategic and contingency plans to ensure EU market access’.
bet365 maintains its operations unit within the British Overseas Territory, employing a reported 500 Gibraltar staff members. The bookmaker has confirmed to the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) that all staff have been offered the opportunity to relocate to Malta in their current roles.
In its update, bet365 management underlines that its decision was ‘driven primarily by the continuing Brexit landscape’, and that it will maintain a presence within Gibraltar.
For its European market operations, bet365 holds both Gibraltar (GGC) and Malta (MGA) licences. To date, bet365 has maintained a small marketing-led unit in Malta.
In May 2018, bet365 was forced to confirm that it was expanding its Malta operations, however company management blasted Malta news reports as ‘wholly inaccurate’.
The government of Gibraltar has stated that it aware of bet365 developments and has worked ‘constructively with the company’ to mitigate the effects on Gibraltar.
“It is clear that the decisions announced by bet365 are directly related to Brexit, and not to any matter otherwise related to Gibraltar,” the government said in a statement.
Low corporate taxes (1% cap) and Gibraltar’s full membership to the EU have seen the UK independent territory become the operational home to more than 30 online betting operators including GVC, BetVictor, 888 Holdings and 32Red. With over 5000 sector employees, the online gambling industry remains Gibraltar’s largest employer (population 32,000).