888 Holdings May Leave Gibraltar because of Brexit
888 Holdings PLC, one of the world's most popular operators and platform providers for online gaming, is considering relocating its current headquarters in Gibraltar to an alternative location. This relocation may result if the British Overseas Territory should experience negative repercussions from Brexit: the UK's exit from the European Union (EU).
The reason 888 is concerned about remaining within the small nation, is its future is uncertain. Even though the UK government has pledged to protect the island after the UK left the EU, and Gibraltar's Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, has spoken positively about Gibraltar's future as one of Europe's gambling hubs, 888 isn't entirely convinced and for good reason.
A key dynamic of 888's ongoing strategy and corporate value is to continue its growth within European regulated markets. The potential issue of holding a Gibraltar Remote Gambling License after the UK split with the EU is that it may not be enough to meet the company's regulatory strategy. This is because certain EU member states may not view Gibraltarian regulatory provisions as eligible after Brexit.
"The proposed status of Gibraltar in relation to the United Kingdom as a result of 'Brexit' is at present unclear," stated 888 in its 2016 annual report. The company also said that if it were to "remain registered, licensed and operating in Gibraltar in these circumstances, its ability to rely on EU freedom of services/establishment principles in supplying its services within the EU will be limited."
As for where 888 Holdings would relocate, the company said in the same report that it could relocate its headquarters to Malta where - in a post-Brexit Europe - it would be guaranteed free cross-border movement of goods, services, capital and people.