Bet365 Relocation And Our Economic Future
Together Gibraltar are saddened to hear the news of Bet365's relocation of their Gibraltar offices to Malta.
While we are pleased staff have been offered employment in Malta, this is a real blow to those who have made their homes on the Rock, as well as to our community and economy as a whole. Bet365 leaving will cost Gibraltar several millions of pounds in PAYE alone per annum, plus corporate tax and indirect expenditure, as well as a few million pounds at least, in Social Insurance contributions. Further, the economic supply chain of small and medium local businesses who rely on this large corporate sector of the community are set to take a massive hit, in turn causing a domino effect on losses on income tax there too. We hope that Government will be addressing this fallout imminently.
This is another clear sign of the damage that Brexit is causing across the UK and we will keep campaigning to make sure Gibraltar remains in the EU. In any scenario, we are committed to working with Parliament to ensure Gibraltar maintains EU market alignment and mitigates further damage to our economy and future prospects.
The situation is especially alarming given the Minister for Financial Services and Gaming's comments that Brexit would not have an impact on Gibraltar's Online Gaming sector and Bet365 specifically. In May last year Mr. Isola stated that Bet365 "are not leaving Gibraltar by any stretch of the imagination".
It is clear that this was not the case, given that it now transpires that talks over the relocation have been happening since a year ago. Nevertheless, we hope to work closely with all Members of Parliament to ensure that gaming companies have the regulatory stability they need to succeed in Gibraltar.
With that being said, we also believe that what has happened is a clear indication of government's failure to diversify Gibraltar's economy. Gibraltar deserves comprehensive economic planning that extends well beyond one party or another's four-year term, to ensure sustainable career opportunities, supporting local enterprises and attracting international business.
We wish the best of luck to Bet365's employees and will be doing everything we can to support and represent those who decide to stay in Gibraltar.