Online Betting Firms Worry as ECJ Includes Gibraltar in Brexit

Published Monday, January 23, 2017 -
Online Betting Firms Worry as ECJ Includes Gibraltar in Brexit

The internet has made it easy for gamblers to play and keep up with changes in team and player conditions providing a somewhat educated wager. The operators of online gambling services work on a slim profit margin and in an attempt to attract customers offer bonuses and competitive rates of return. A number of internet gambling services companies have found some jurisdictions better than others to locate their operations in to save money.

The recent Brexit decision has online gambling operators in the ‘whitelisted’ jurisdictions that are referred to as a ‘British Overseas Territory’ such as Gibraltar crying foul after the recent decision by the European Court of Justice which is including Gibraltar in the British exit.

The move has effectively derailed the Gibraltar Betting and Gambling Association’s case against the government of the United Kingdom relating to the recent legal challenge related to the 2014 UKGC online gambling tax platform. The UKGC “point of consumption tax” is said to contravene Article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the act which defines the right to free trade across member borders.

Senior EU lawyer Maciej Szpuar delivered the opinion on the matter that was asked by the High Court of  England and Wales, whether Gibraltar, has the constitutional status of a separate territory to UK in relation to gambling tax. The UK and Gibraltar have been determined as one entity within EU law, Szpuar said that the UK has the right to create its particular national tax policies and the EU could not interfere.

Szpuar commented, “The application of EU law to Gibraltar does not create new or supplementary rights between the UK and Gibraltar that are in addition to those flowing from the UK and Gibraltar constitutional law,” 

Now the regulatory changes for the online gambling industry after Brexit in Gibraltar are bound to be profound, slow and expensive.

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