Following the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) on 31 December, 2020, the issue of the country’s overseas territory Gibraltar has been repeatedly raised in gambling industry circles.
Gibraltar, which is the home to many gaming and sports betting operators, was the subject of an 11th hour deal between British and Spanish political authorities with regard to its post-Brexit future.
The resulting agreement could see the Mediterranean territory join the Schengen Area, a zone spanning 26 countries, where freedom and unrestricted movement of people is guaranteed.
It was described as a ‘political framework’ to form the basis of a separate treaty between the EU over the status of the island, according to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
Following this announcement, CasinoBeats discussed the future of Gibraltar’s betting industry with Andrew Lyman, Executive Director of the Government of Gibraltar’s Gambling Division.
Despite the uncertainties, Lyman is confident that the island’s gambling industry will ‘grow and thrive’ in post-Brexit conditions, highlighting the territory’s incorporation into the Schengen Area as key to this.
The Director said that inclusion in the free movement zone is a ‘win-win’ for both Gibraltarians and Spain, as it guarantees the: “continued shared prosperity between Gibraltar and the ‘campo’ in which some 15,000 workers live in Spain, but work in Gibraltar.”
Lyman also highlighted the robust and flexible nature of the Gibraltar gaming industry, pointing to how it: “has been changing and evolving since 2014 and has sustained despite legal changes in the UK and elsewhere,” as well as developing alongside EU markets “well before the 2016 Brexit vote.”
Furthermore, the territory is “a small jurisdiction and can be agile in its approach,” and the gambling industry model “is now multijurisdictional in nature.”
He concluded by stating: “Gibraltar is not going to reduce its attractiveness to business whilst at the same time remaining a jurisdiction which commands international respect and full UK support. It also wants to continue to build a close relationship with the EU. I am very optimistic for the future.”