UK gambling operators have been given an eight-point checklist to help them prepare for their government’s inelegant ‘Brexit’ from the European Union.
As the clock counts down toward the UK’s October 31 deadline for crashing out of the EU, the UK government is offering advice to individual sectors of the economy on how they might mitigate the guaranteed horroshow that awaits companies that do any cross-channel business.
Last week, the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport issued an eight-point checklist “to understand what you need to do to prepare for no-deal Brexit if you work in gambling.”
Three of these points involve staffing issues, including whether staff need a visa or work permit for the countries in which they plan to work, whether staff need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, and to ensure they meet certain immigration rules, including “crossing into Spain from Gibraltar.”
Gibraltar is where many UK-licensed gambling operators chose to base their EU-facing business. In August, online betting giant Bet365 announced it was cutting 80% of its Gibraltar payroll while boosting its Malta-based operations in order to “ensure EU market access” post-Brexit.
The UK government also believes gambling operators need to ensure that there are no legal issues with their handling of personal data from the EU and European Economic Area (the latter including some European states that don’t belong to the EU, such as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). Operators also need to ensure their accounting and reporting practices meet EU/EEA requirements.
UK-based online gambling operators that provide services to customers in EU markets need to appoint an EU representative to ensure their online security standards make the grade. Operators that utilize a .eu domain could lose the ability to re-register that domain after January 1, 2020 and any surrendered domains will become available for general registration as of November 1, 2020.
Existing contracts must be scrutinized to ensure operators have the necessary copyright permissions to offer certain licensed content outside the UK. Finally, operators need to ensure that they know in advance what steps will be required to import hardware from the EU to the UK, and possibly some politicians that can distinguish their heads from their asses.