The Gibraltar-based company, home to many of the world’s leading e-gaming and sports betting firms, is concerned about the impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union on the British Overseas Territory.
Around 25% of Gibraltar’s GDP is generated by the gambling industry.
There are fears that an end to freedom of movement could cause problems as many workers actually live across the border in Spain.
“Proceeding with its backup plan” 888 is obtaining a gaming licence in Malta. In order to be able to “continue to serve European markets with no disruption to its business” it also said it is establishing a server farm in Ireland.
888 explained in its 2017 financial statement released last week that “the ability to rely on EU principles underpins 888’s regulatory strategy regarding major EU markets”.
888 said: “The status of Gibraltar as a result of Brexit remains unclear. Recent indications by the EU have suggested that Spain would be granted a veto right with respect to the application to Gibraltar of transitional arrangements agreed with the UK, which increases the risk of a “hard Brexit” for Gibraltar.
“If 888 were to remain registered, licenced and operating in Gibraltar in these circumstances, its ability to rely on EU freedom of services / establishment principles in supplying its services within the EU will be limited; furthermore, it may become ineligible to continue to hold regulatory licenses in certain EU jurisdictions.”
As well as operational concerns, 888 also said it fears an adverse effect on the market.
It added: “Brexit may also adversely impact economic and market conditions in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.”