Bet365 con­firms Malta ex­pan­sion but re­mains ‘to­tally com­mit­ted’ to Gi­bral­tar

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

Gi­bral­tar-based Bet365 has played down claims that it is re­lo­cat­ing to Malta, although it plans a ma­jor ex­pan­sion in that coun­try.

The com­pany was re­spond­ing to an ar­ti­cle in The Sun­day Times of Malta sug­gest­ing Bet365 would move up to 1,000 of its em­ploy­ees from Gi­bral­tar to Malta af­ter Brexit.

It de­scribed the re­port as “spec­u­la­tion” and said the num­bers quoted were “wholly in­ac­cu­rate”.

But the com­pany, which holds a Class 2 sports bet­ting li­cence is­sued by the Malta Gam­ing Author­ity and has mar­ket­ing op­er­a­tions based in Malta, con­firmed it was scal­ing up its pres­ence there.

Bet365 in­sisted though that it re­mained com­mit­ted to Gi­bral­tar and would main­tain its pres­ence here.

The Sun­day Times of Malta said the move would sig­nif­i­cantly boost Malta’s econ­omy and de­pen­dence on the on­line gam­bling in­dus­try.

It said Bet365 had al­ready signed a prom­ise of sale agree­ment to ac­quire a large part of a new prop­erty devel­op­ment on the Tigné penin­sula in Sliema to serve as the com­pany’s hub of op­er­a­tions.

“Due to reg­u­la­tory de­vel­op­ments in var­i­ous ju­ris­dic­tions and the evolv­ing global reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment for on­line bet­ting and gam­ing, we have de­cided to in­crease our ex­ist­ing pres­ence in Malta, which pro­vides a ma­ture and ro­bust reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment for the in­dus­try,” a spokesman for Bet365 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 are 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.”

The Gi­bral­tar Gov­ern­ment also re­acted to the re­port in The Sun­day Times of Malta, which it de­scribed as “in­ac­cu­rate”.

Al­bert Isola, the Min­is­ter for Gam­bling, said the gov­ern­ment had “a high de­gree of con­fi­dence” that there would be pos­i­tive out­come for Gi­bral­tar com­pa­nies as the Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions pro­gressed.

“We none­the­less un­der­stand that busi­ness needs cer­tainty and has to man­age risk, he added.

“There is no sin­gle risk man­age­ment so­lu­tion here as the is­sues are com­plex.”

“That is why we are work­ing with op­er­a­tors and with other ju­ris­dic­tions to es­tab­lish the best over­all reg­u­la­tory frame­work in which to do busi­ness.”

Mr Isola said Bet365 had con­firmed di­rectly to the gov­ern­ment that it re­mained “to­tally com­mit­ted to Gi­bral­tar and the en­tirety of its work­force here”.

“They are not leav­ing Gi­bral­tar by any stretch of the imag­i­na­tion,” he said.

“Nei­ther are they hav­ing to choose be­tween us and Malta.”

“What re­mains true is that Gi­bral­tar re­mains the ju­ris­dic­tion of choice for the most rep­utable gam­ing com­pa­nies in the world. Brexit isn’t go­ing to change that.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.