Will I still be able to buy lottery tickets online after Brexit?
When it comes to online gambling, Brexit will not change things drastically, players will still be able to buy lottery tickets online for the EuroMillions, for example, as players in Switzerland currently do!
It is currently unknown what the reality will be for gambling organisations in the UK after Brexit. Even pre-Brexit, gambling had not had the benefit of central regulation, despite calls from many requesting one single EU licence. This never happened and today, anyone gambling in a foreign country, including those of the EU member states, are responsible for making themselves fully aware of the betting laws in that particular country.
The main difference UK players will notice is non-UK organisations may suddenly become out of bounds, especially without a deal, if the World Trade Organisation creates barriers for organisations outside the UK.
Despite reassurances of UK Citizenship, uncertainty and new controls regarding free movement and a stricter control on foreign workers, it will likely result in an exodus of EU workers in the UK.
Gibraltar in particular has been suffering a major headache since Brexit due to its unique relationship with Spain. Daily, 10,000 workers cross the border from Spain into Gibraltar, many working in the gambling sector, a huge chunk of Gibraltar’s economy.
Brexit has impacted Gibraltar, with the £70m exodus of Bet365 flying conversely with Richard Branson’s Virgin Bet’s successful application for a gambling licence to operate in Gibraltar, epitomising the optimism and uncertainty that exists in the overseas territory.
Likewise, the disappearance of free movement within the EU will have an effect on trade, especially in countries such as Gibraltar. The gaming industry has an advantage that it can afford to recruit for the best resources and may need to be a little more creative in its methods, such as attractive packages, help with work permits, and funding innovation.
Although the ability to buy lottery tickets online will not suffer any changes, when the UK leaves, there is a real possibility of rising costs on imports and exports.
With no clarity of exactly the type of deal on the table, there is always a possibility of an increase or unexpected tariffs or customs duties payable.
Without a trade deal, the immediate impact on the gaming industry and virtual lottery providers will be when it comes to investing in new technologies and equipment from EU countries. In order to remain profitable, these extra costs may need sharing with the consumer.
Planning to ensure no disruption when we buy lottery tickets online
Whatever the outcome of Brexit, little will change for players; instead, gambling organisations, primarily those online, are themselves hedging their bets and making decisions about changing locations.
Playing lotteries which benefit UK charitable organisations will remain as popular and attractive as ever, continuing the good work supported by lottery charity funding. Players need not worry about the fate of the lottery-funded good causes in their communities!
Relocation of gaming operations to alternative tax haven EU countries such as Malta is an option, leading to employment uncertainty or redundancy for many workers in the gaming industry.
There are some arguments that these organisations who are rushing to relocate are scaremongering and their actions will have an adverse effect on the UK’s economy. Calls for simple relocation of head offices rather than total relocation, i.e. EU operators in the UK continue their operations, but from their office in the EU, and vice versa.
The industry is crucial to the UK economy since the 2014 consumption tax of 15%, which led to some operators closing. Changes in gaming laws post Brexit may have a similar effect.
Another concern is the loss of EU grants. The EU is benevolent in its help with SMEs and start-ups and the gaming industry has seen some of its finest products produced by businesses relying upon these funds.
Lottery charity funding will continue when we buy lottery tickets online
In conclusion, the gambling industry has always been and always will be unstoppable. Brexit will be another manageable obstacle to take into account and circumvent. People love to gamble and online gambling has revolutionised the industry taking it from seedy smoky bookmakers to fascinating technology and graphics.
The gambling industry is one of the world’s biggest success stories, and has a healthy advantage to face the uncertainty of Brexit.
Historically gambling has overcome many hurdles and remains driven to ensure this industry remains a leader, and good causes and communities will continue to benefit from the online ticket sales.