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NEWS 6 July 2018

Gibraltar lowers gambling tax as "Brexit uncertainties" continue

By Jake Patel

Gibraltar has increased its license fees and lowered gross revenue taxes for gambling companies, in an attempt to hold onto operators in the event of a nasty Brexit.

The country's Minister for Financial Services and Gaming, Albert Isola, announced that these changes have already taken effect in his budget speech earlier this week.

B2C gambling companies, including casino gaming operators and sports betting operators will now pay 0.15% tax on their annual gross revenue rather than the 1% tax that used to be charged.

In his speech Isola said that “the government has been considering various models to replace the historic and essentially ‘flat rate’ gambling charges paid by our licensees since 2005.”

Isola admitted that the annual license fees are substantially higher.

Each B2C license will cost about £100,000 ($132,000) and each B2B license will cost £85,000 ($112,000).

“As with any changes in tax modelling there are ‘winners and losers,” said Isola.

However, the minister has said that the companies that are most likely to be affected were warned and provided with reasons for the changes to taxation and licensing in advance.

“It is undeniable that the Gibraltar based remote gambling industry remains the most significant in Europe, if not the world, but it is now sailing into headwinds,” said Isola, “These are created by the uncertainties of Brexit and challenges around the EU market access.”

At the moment there are about 30 remote licenses held by companies in Gibraltar.

Isola also announced that the Gambling Division is now working closely with Government and the Gibraltar Financial Service Commission on DLT and crypto currency proposals in the gambling space, and how these can support the economy and gambling start-ups.

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