Bet365 announces plans to open a new office in Malta
Bet365 has announced its plans to open an office in Malta ahead of potential negative effects Brexit may have for UK online gambling businesses.
It’s being reported that the company has signed a promise of sale agreement for around €70 for office space in a new development in Sliema, Malta. It’s not yet known how many staff will be situated there.
The operator currently has an office in Gibraltar with around 500 staff based there.
Bet365 was forced to make a statement regarding the move after an article that appeared in the Times of Malta claimed the operator was planning to move 1,000 of its staff from Gibraltar to Malta.
Bet365 responded with the confirmation they were moving into new office space, but the operator was quick to note that far fewer staff are likely to be situated there than the article suggested.
A spokesman for the firm said:
We are taking additional property space and looking to recruit additional personnel in Malta to support our online operations and will also be expanding our infrastructure capabilities there. It should be noted however, that the number of people reported as being relocated to Malta is wholly inaccurate. Notwithstanding these plans for Malta, we can confirm that we will be retaining our strong presence in, and commitment to, Gibraltar where our main operational hub is based and will continue to maintain our existing dual regulatory and licensing strategy and presence.– Spokesperson, Bet365
It’s understood that bet365 are making the move in anticipation of the effects of Brexit. A number of other firms are thought to be making similar moves.
As with many policy areas, it’s not entirely certain how online gambling firms and the industry in the UK will be affected after Britain leaves the European Union next year.
With Gibraltar tied to the UK, there was much concern about whether operators based on the rock could continue to offer their services uninterrupted. Gibraltar feared that it could lose many operators to Malta, who offer similar tax structures for operators and will remain a Member State of the European Union.
While many operators have voiced this option, none have made moves to do. While Bet365 are opening an office in Malta, the Gibraltar government is said to be confident that Brexit will not cause online gambling companies to flee from its jurisdiction.
Furthermore, the UK and the government of Gibraltar signed a bi-lateral agreement to ensure that operators based in Gibraltar can continue to provide their services to customers in the UK freely after Brexit.