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article imageGibraltar bets on holding online gambling top spot

By AFP     May 26, 2017 in Travel

Gibraltar Friday vowed to do whatever it takes to keep its position as a leading online gambling jurisdiction despite Britain's looming exit from the European Union.

"Whatever Brexit may produce for Gibraltar, government will adapt its licensing and regulatory arrangements to ensure we remain the premier remote gambling jurisdiction," the government said in a statement.

Gibraltar was reacting to the decision by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair to close its office in the tiny territory on Spain's southern tip, which makes 40 percent of its GDP from financial services and the online gambling sector.

"Gibraltar remains the premier and first choice jurisdiction for the biggest and best operators in this industry," the government said.

Several dozen sports betting and casino gambling companies operate in the territory, employing more than one in 10 workers, thanks to its low-tax regime.

Britain's exit from the EU, which Gibraltarians massively opposed in last year's referendum, could handicap the economy of "The Rock", according to a report by the House of Lords published in March.

Madrid, which maintains a claim to Gibraltar which was ceded to Britain in 1713, considers it a "tax haven" and is opposed to "unfair competition" from the territory.

Spain has long criticised Gibraltar's low-tax regime, but the tiny, 32,000-strong territory argues it is a crucial part of its services-based economy.

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