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888 considering post-Brexit Malta move

2017-05-04 14:30:00

Following the controversial ‘Brexit’ vote the future of Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, remains unclear. British PM Theresa May has pledged to do all in her power to protect the island following Britain’s departure from the European Union. With a strong British gambling hub in Gibraltar, any post-Brexit fallout could have catastrophic consequences on Gibraltar’s economy.

888 Holdings Annual Report

In its annual report, 888 underlined its intent on remaining in Gibraltar but failed to rule out a move to Malta where it can avail of the free market. The report stated: “The proposed status of Gibraltar in relation to the United Kingdom as a result of ‘Brexit’ is at present unclear. If 888 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.”

Indeed, 888’s reliance on EU principles for its regulatory strategy may prove a major stumbling block, with the company unable to control political changes of this kind. 888 fears its Remote Gambling License, issued in Gibraltar, may not be accepted by EU bodies. The report continued: “However it would reconsider the appropriateness of remaining registered, licenced and operational in Gibraltar in these circumstances. Malta may be considered as an alternative ‘dot com’ licensing jurisdiction.”

Impressive 2016 Figures for 888

The dark shadow of ‘Brexit’ comes at an inopportune time for 888, who recorded impressive financial growth last year. Revenue increased 13% year-on-year to $520.8 million, with 888 Casino responsible for the majority of said revenue. Casino revenue increased 21% to $279.3 million. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation also increased by 12% to $90.2 million, with the company overseeing further expansion in the UK, Spain and Italy.