Over the past few years, Brexit has been a huge topic of discussion in the UK and countries around the world. In fact, even people who didn’t live in the UK were worried about how the UK’s decision to leave the EU would play out.
One industry that has watched nervously as Brexit unfolds is the online casino industry. Many online casino owners were concerned that Brexit would have an impact on their operations. To better understand their concerns, we first need to understand what Brexit is. Keep reading below to find out more about Brexit and the impact it has had on the online gambling industry:
What is Brexit?
From a technical perspective, Brexit has a complex and broad meaning behind it. However, it basically means that the United Kingdom has chosen to leave the European Union. Back in 2016, citizens of the UK voted in a nationwide referendum to exit the European Union. This meant that they no longer wanted to follow EU rules and laws. Instead, they wanted to regain control of their borders and make their own rules and regulations. The UK has been a member of the EU for over 40 years, so this was a huge decision.
Since the referendum, politicians have been working hard to iron out the finer details of the split. However, despite their best efforts, it is likely that almost all industries will be negatively affected by this decision. Among these industries, the online gambling industry could be severely hit.
The Online Gambling Industry in the UK
The United Kingdom has been home to the world of online gambling for many years now. In fact, if we look at the history of online gambling, we can see that the first online gambling website, Microgaming, was unveiled in the UK in 1994. The UK is also home to some of the leading online gambling companies such as Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Coral and Bet365.
Although the UK has some of the biggest online gambling companies in the world and the market is resilient, with locals alone spending over £3.5 billion each year on online gambling sites, things may change in 2021 thanks to Brexit.
How Will Brexit Change the Online Gambling Industry?
The first thing we need to consider is how Brexit will change access to the online gambling market for foreign companies. There’s a good possibility that Brexit will limit access to this market. In fact, we’ve already seen evidence of this happening. Not only has the market begun to stiffen, but evidence also suggests that fewer companies now have access to the gambling market in the UK.
Another thing we need to consider is the licensing changes that online casinos will face. Online casinos may have to apply for new licenses to operate in the UK. However, this is unlikely to be a problem for online casinos as most online casinos already have to apply for numerous licenses for the different jurisdictions in which they operate in. They’ll simply need to apply for one more.
For many years now, the UK has had one of the most regulated gambling markets in Europe, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. The laws and procedures put in place before Brexit will continue to operate post-Brexit. And, thanks to the 2014 Gambling Act, which requires all offshore gambling sites to have a license from the gambling commission, online casinos who want to continue to offer their services to UK customers will be able to do so.
What Does Brexit Mean for Online Gamblers?
One of the biggest worries of players is that the online gambling industry will be severely affected by the trade and economic changes that Brexit brings. Some fear that this may even cause many online casinos to close, considering that many of the online bookmakers and casinos operating in the UK have their base of operations abroad in Gibraltar.
Although Gibraltar currently remains part of UK territory, and Spain has not expressed an objection to this, there’s a high possibility that many online gambling sites located in Gibraltar will have to move to a new location. The main reason for this is because the surrounding land of Spain is part of the European Union. This could mean that UK customers may not be able to access these sites anymore.
Another thing players are concerned about is the impact Brexit will have on the freebies and bonuses they receive. Casinos located in the EU will likely see changes in regulations and taxes. They may have to pay extra money or taxes to be available to UK players. Online casinos may choose to balance the increased cost of operations by reducing the bonuses and freebies they offer their customers.
Can UK Players Still Play Online?
Although UK players may not have access to all the online casinos they once used to, thankfully, there’s a range of English Casino sites for UK players to choose from. Not only are these sites designed for English players, but they’re also located in the UK. If you’re looking for a good English casino site, then visit www.onlinecasinos.co.uk. This site not only provides you with a list of the best casinos in the UK, but it also tells you why they’re great. No matter whether you enjoy a game of poker or prefer spinning the reels on a slot machine, their site will be able to help you.
Brexit has had a huge impact on almost all industries in the UK, and the casino industry is no different. Although the UK didn’t officially leave the EU until 31st December 2020, Brexit is already starting to affect this industry. Research has shown that Brexit has led to many online casinos changing locations, increasing their prices, reducing the bonuses and freebies they offer players and facing new tougher rules and regulations. However, the full effect of Brexit will not be felt for a good few months yet. Until then, players in the UK should consider playing in a UK-based online casino. Not only are these casinos safer for UK players, but they’re also more likely to offer better bonuses and prizes.