How Will Brexit Affect the UK Gambling Industry?

In a very real sense, Brexit happened because the Conservative base had a strong Euroskeptic streak, so much so that it possessed the potential to cost Conservative candidates serious support. As a result, the Conservative PM David Cameron promised to hold a public referendum on withdrawing from the European Union, not because he supported such a move but because he wanted to shore up his own support. In those times, it was believed that the Euroskeptics couldn’t win, but as it turned out, a lot of people were too optimistic in that regard.

Ever since, British politics have been a complete and utter mockery. For example, Cameron resigned from his position because it was clear that he had no interest in becoming the man who led the United Kingdom out of the European Union, thus reaping the blame for the inevitable consequences. In his place, there is now Theresa May, who called a general election for the purpose of strengthening her hand but winded up turning a majority government into a minority government that can’t continue to exist without the support of the Democratic Unionist Party. Currently, May is busy with convincing Parliament to pass the agreement that has been hashed out with the European Union, but so far, it is looking as though the United Kingdom has a very real chance of crashing out with a no-deal scenario. On the whole, Brexit would make for very entertaining TV if it wasn’t for the fact that it is real, meaning that it is going to have a huge impact on millions and millions of people.

How Will Brexit Affect the UK Gambling Industry?

Naturally, the United Kingdom’s gambling industry won’t be exempted from the effects of Brexit. However, the problem is that no one can be sure of what those effects will be because no one can be sure how the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. Still, some of the likeliest consequences range from UK companies being shut out of European Union markets to European Union companies pulling their operations out of the United Kingdom. On top of this, the whole situation promises to be particularly bad for Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, which have gone out of their way to make themselves popular places for gambling companies to base themselves.

Regardless, it is looking as though the UK gambling industry will be finding out the consequences very soon because the deadline for Brexit is March 29 of 2019. It has been ruled that the United Kingdom can cancel its move to withdraw from the European Union without needing the consent of its member countries. However, the United Kingdom cannot extend the deadline on its own, meaning that it will need the consent of the European Union if it wants more time. Even for people with more appetite for risk, this would be a very bad bet because the European Union has become fed up with the whole mess, meaning that it wants the situation to end one way or another so that it can move on instead of being forced to continue struggling with the uncertainties.

Theoretically, May could still convince the British legislature to accept the agreement that has been worked out, which would result in a less messy separation between the United Kingdom and the European Union. However, considering that some of the opposition seems to be coming from people who think that they can still work out something better with the European Union when the European Union has already stated that this is it, one might not want get their hopes up too much in this regard. By this point in time, it is clear that relevant parties should be preparing for the worst case scenario, not least because those expecting competence on the part of the British government in recent times have been much disappointed.

Final Thoughts

Summed up, chances are good that the UK gambling industry is going to get hit hard. A sudden change of the rules means that they won’t be able to have the same access to European markets that they did before. As a result, it is no wonder that the casinos listed on (among others) have already started preparing for the worst case scenarios, which isn’t paranoia but rather simple prudence under the circumstances.

Unfortunately, even if these casinos are already preparing themselves, there is a limit to how much those preparations will help because the potential consequences are just that bad. Furthermore, if the British government is this inept at negotiating how the process for the separation of the United Kingdom and the European Union should be handled, there is no reason to believe that it will be able to negotiate new agreements with the relevant countries anytime soon, meaning that the UK gambling industry could be left suffering for years and years to come. In the worst case scenario, it is perfectly possible that some of the relevant companies won’t be able to sustain themselves without their expected source of revenue, meaning that they could be forced out of business altogether.

With that said, one can’t help but suspect that most people will have bigger things to worry about than the UK gambling industry. Thankfully, the specter of societal collapse is still nothing more than a product of fevered imaginations because modern nation-states can be very resilient. However, there can be no doubt that there will be a lot of people suffering for various reasons, seeing as how even something as vital as the supply of insulin to the United Kingdom from the European Union runs a very real chance of seeing shortages in the not too distant future. Under those circumstances, it is hard to imagine people being very enthused about spending money at casinos and other gaming companies. Something that could have a further impact on them for the worse. Summed up, it is possible that everything will still work out, but under the circumstances, it is probably best not to be too optimistic about the whole thing.

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