Ladbrokes have stated they will remain calm and not make any drastic decisions in the face of Britain voting to leave the EU. As with many of its competitors, the British based company has expressed concern about what the future holds for them following the Brexit result.
Ladbrokes is particularly at risk since it has a lot of interests in Europe, which include a book making business in Belgium, as well as additional investment in Spain and Gibraltar. They’ve already suffered a hit after the reveal of the leave result, with their share price dropping, along with others in the industry.
Ladbrokes Respond In The Face of Brexit
Ladbrokes’ CEO, Jim Mullen, has voiced his support over the need to stay calm, which is even more important given the unknown effects this could have on the industry. “The referendum result undoubtedly poses new questions and we must take time to understand and work through the full implications for our business and the betting industry before making knee-jerk reactions. We will take up the challenge of ensuring we build on the momentum we have in our business which all our colleagues are fully focused on delivering.”
While Ladbrokes are simply watching for an outcome without making any predictions as of yet, others in the industry are taking a positive outlook on the whole affair. One of the largest online gaming affiliates in the world, BetterCollective, see a bright future for the industry once the initial shock has warn off.
Survival Through Smart Planning
Michal Kopec, Senior Business Manager at BetterCollective noted that the early days will be dark as, “bookmakers and their suppliers are going to feel the pinch almost instantly, as many operate across the EU where prices for services will be hit by the poor pound.”
That isn’t to say recovery is impossible. In fact, with smart regulation and forward planning, things should return to normal fairly quickly. “On the regulatory front, bookmakers and affiliates shouldn’t be affected for now, as the Gambling Act regime is a stable one, with many organisations well briefed and prepared for any potential changes.”
Add in the fact that we have over two years before Article 50 has been completed and the UK actually leaves the EU and the hope is that all the necessary measures will be put in place to keep the industry thriving.
The Great Gambling Migration
The real kicker for the UK industry will turn out to not even be taking place in the UK at all. Before the UKGC put forward regulations to tax any casino operating within the UK, most casino operators moved their business overseas to avoid getting taxed while still operating within UK borders.
Given the sudden departure of Britain and by extension, Gibraltar, most operators who are still based within Gibraltar will find themselves without an EU licence. There’s been no mention of it yet, but it’s likely that these operators may find it tricky to operate in larger markets like Germany, which are highly EU regulated.
An Uncertain Outcome
Ladbrokes are playing it safe for the moment and are one of the few companies who’ve gone on record regarding their strategy of how to handle Brexit. Jim Mullen will have a lot on his plate, given that only just before the Brexit result, Ladbrokes and Gala Coral just formed a huge multi billion pound merger as Ladbrokes Coral.
Being an operator completely based in the UK, Ladbrokes can afford to be more relaxed about their plans given their reasonable security, both geographically and financially. It’ll be interesting to see how other operators conduct themselves in the next few years and which ones are around once the leave is finalised.