Over the past few decades, UK and international companies, among them Ladbrokes, William Hill, Bwin.party and, Bet 365; have moved their online operations to Gibraltar. Boylesports, the Irish bookmaker, is the latest company to join Gibraltar’s online gaming community, officially gaining its licence. Continent 8 is expanding further into the Rock, adding new servers to accommodate “unprecedented demand” from the industry, while major listed companies insist they will continue to increase their presence.
There are now 34 online gaming companies in Gibraltar because of its generous tax environment, as they have benefited from lower corporation tax, no value added tax on marketing spend and in some cases exemption from gambling duty in the UK – Those who have a UK presence but are based offshore are required to pay POC (point of consumption tax).
You would think that having such a financial benefit in Gibraltar, one would be inclined in supporting a local sporting entity or invest in community programmes even if its just youth academies.. Unfortunately this has never been the case and on various occasions, through the media, such information has been blocked or removed completely from an interview and we ask you why?
We have encountered many setbacks from the gaming industry when approaching them for sponsorship and even though it was reported that apart from the financial gain one would have in Gibraltar, we kept being told that their international sponsorship strategy is based on 2 sporting pillars: “football” and “basketball”. Within these 2 sporting pillars, they focus on international top platforms and premium rights packages – such as the partnerships with top teams in Europe that gain coverage and visibility on a Pan-European level. Subject to any changes to the current strategy, they do not support alternative requests, neither on national nor on international levels.
As our proposal was not in line with their current international sponsorship strategy, they were unable to accept our proposal for sponsorship.
Do we deserve to be turned down in this fashion whilst they reap the benefits on our home ground and generate over £2.5 million worth of bets which involved Football clubs in Gibraltar? It is mind boggling how we have not seen a single penny invested towards Local sponsorship of a sporting entity in Gibraltar but also be removed our rights of expression when highlighting our disappointment through the local media. Is the government taking sides in making sure we do not upset the Gaming industry with the truth? What we will say is this; for as long as we have the right to express our discontent, we will continue to do so until we feel fit and there is no stopping us.