Bet365 announced Monday that they’ve decided to make Gibraltar their licensing hub and base for their entire online gambling business.
The company released a statement saying:
“As part of the reorganisation, Bet365 is augmenting its existing presence in Gibraltar, a jurisdiction that offers a mature and stable environment for international remote gambling operators. bet365 will now operate its international betting businesses under licences granted by the government of Gibraltar.”
They’d be very familiar with Gibraltar and its regulators. The bet365 online casino operation has been licensed and based there since 2007, but the much larger sports betting business has until now remained a UK licensed business.
The news would have been a little unsettling for the city Stoke-on-Trent where bet365 are currently headquartered and employ more than 2,000 staff making them the city’s largest employer. A former coal mining and steel town, Stoke have no doubt had their fair share of tough economic times.
Obviously aware of their importance to the local economy the company have said that they will be retaining a significant presence in Stoke including all technical support and marketing services which will be contracted out to the Gibraltar hub (I suspect at pretty cheap transfer prices). According to bet365 the re-organization won’t result in any redundancies in Stoke and only 100 or so roles will be transferred to the Gibraltar office.
The timing, on the eve of the introduction of the UK’s new point of consumption online gambling tax, is a little ironic. UK regulators may have held some hope that their new POC tax might have prompted some of the big operators who relocated to low tax jurisdictions years ago to, to thing think about returning. Instead, the last one to jump ship, and perhaps the largest, has now decided to make the move.