Following the merger of leading Irish bookmaker, Paddy Power, and UK-based Betfair in February 2016, the two companies have been centralising and simplifying their operations. As part of this strategy, the companies have announced that they will be closing their Gibraltar office and relocating the operations to another of its sites in Europe.
A spokesperson for the company stated that the approximately twenty people employed in the Gibraltar office would be offered relocation to one of the other sites, including their Dublin and London headquarters. The move is similar to the closing of its Isle of Man offices last year.
Before their merger last year, the two companies set a synergy savings target of £50 million and the closure of duplicate services is in line with its goals.
The Gibraltar government released a statement saying “it has been clear for some time that the Betfair office was under review due to the new Paddy Power Betfair merged company consolidating its estate and operations across Europe since it was formed last year.”
“While we have had a great working relationship with Betfair for the seven years they have been in Gibraltar, this office has been found to be ‘surplus to requirements’ as it replicated activities undertaken elsewhere.”
Despite suggestions, the company has made it clear that their decision to leave Gibraltar is in no way related to the UK’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union and the Gibraltar Government has insisted that they have licensed “as many people in 2017 as we did in 2016 and most years before that.” However, speculation continues as to how many UK operators will continue to remain licensed in Gibraltar considering the new online gambling licensing regulations imposed by the UK in 2014.