Unexpected Brexit Fallout in Online Gambling

By Swindon Link - 20 October 2021


Let’s be honest, when we voted for Brexit many of us or at the very least our fellow countrymen, did not quite consider, how much of our day-to-day life would be affected by it. Now, slowly but surely, we notice it here and there. Especially when using the internet, where being a member of the EU has had its invisible benefits. Shopping, trading, online services… any kind of cross-border commerce is shaping up to be a bit more difficult or expensive than we’re used to. Let’s look at some of the changes by examining an area that is affected by EU Laws and domestic laws alike: online gambling.

How Brexit Influences Businesses

Brexit was a monumental decision, when you take a look at the countless trade and cooperation agreements the EU has built between its members. After leaving the EU, we are now treated as a non-EU country and have to reestablish all kinds of relationships. If you are a UK business, you’ll notice it when:

?      you sell goods or supply services to or from the UK

?      you move goods through other countries

?      you use materials or goods to trade under preferential schemes with partner countries

As a result, you have to file customs declarations, provide security and safety data. You need to apply for special licenses to im- or export certain goods and need to stick to all kinds of additional formalities, transaction procedures and rules.

As a customer you have to expect that shipping to the UK will either be limited or cost more, since all kind of partnerships with the EU countries have nullified.

How Brexit Influences Online Gambling

Online Services, technically, do not provide a service that is shipped across countries and should, theoretically, not have any problems with country borders. That might be true, as long as they are not influenced by EU law.

When it comes to topics like gambling, laws differ wildly. Not only between the EU and the UK but also within the different EU countries. Online communities like www.casinomeister.com are a good base to keep up to date with legislations. They have international content and news about laws and lawmakers all over the planet to keep their users updated.

When it comes to gambling, EU-laws had a big influence. When laws, like the German law before July 2021, completely forbid online gambling, the European Court of Justice came into play. Their law states that all online casinos that have a license from an EU gambling authority are legal and can offer their services.

That made online gambling a gray area in Germany, where casinos were both illegal and legal, depending on which court you’d ask. The freedom of services under EU law allowed them to offer their websites despite the German law, which allowed UK casinos to make money and German citizens to gamble.

Is There a Brexit in Gambling?

As you can see, the legal status of online gambling is difficult, with or without the UK leaving. Additionally, some laws are a bit slow to react to a change as big as Brexit. If the hard cut will be implemented, all UK based casinos, who don’t have an EU license, are forbidden to offer their services in EU countries. Some argue that also applies to the overseas territory Gibraltar. Since it’s a popular spot for EU casinos because the taxes are low, that would have a huge influence on the online casino business as a whole.

How Does That Affect UK Gamblers?

We have yet to see how big and how final these changes will be. According to UK law, all online casinos who offer their services within the UK need to have a license by the UK Gambling Commission. Many international online casinos already carried the license. With Brexit, they are now forced to reapply. It is likely, that the casinos who used to offer their websites here will want to continue to do so. For those, Brexit will just be a brief pause in their UK operations.

For many others there will be a period of rearranging. Company HQ's are being moved to or from the UK to be reestablished under current law. Chances are that online gambling will reach its equilibrium quickly. With many of the EU and non-EU countries having differing laws, it is common for an online casino to apply for multiple licenses. With the UK having been a major factor in international gambling and gambling authority, the UK license will surely continue to be one of them.


The Brexit was not as clean cut as many would have liked it to be. Some areas of commerce are still in a gray area and waiting for coming laws to come into play. Online gambling has been uprooted. With the UK no longer being an EU country, the EU law allowing EU licensed online casinos to offer their services does no longer apply to them. If they want to continue operating, they have to get new licenses from EU countries.

At the same time, non-UK casinos that want to attract UK gamblers need to reapply for a UK license as well. These kinds of shifts will cause some pause and confusion, that will most likely settle so gambling fans can get back to their favorite websites.

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