Paddy Power Betfair to close Gibraltar office
Online bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair is to close its Gibraltar office and relocate its operations to another of its European sites.
Paddy Power Betfair told GBC that since the merger of the two companies in February 2016, they had reviewed arrangements with the aim of simplifying and centralising operations.
The company said all employees here would be offered relocation opportunities.
Reacting to the news, the Gibraltar Government said it continued to liaise and work with its licensees to ensure any changes in their arrangements in Gibraltar were communicated early and properly understood.
According to the Government “…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.”
The Government said Paddy Power Betfair’s office in Gibraltar was modest by comparison to other business to consumer operators with less than 20 staff at the current time.
“We wish the group well and will be happy to assist them in the future should they want to be licensed in Gibraltar again,” it said.
The remote gambling industry is going through a period of consolidation that is having an enormous impact on its organisation across Europe.
“In the last 12 months we have seen Bwin acquired by GVC, bringing more jobs to Gibraltar, Gala and Ladbrokes merging, bringing more jobs to Gibraltar, 32Red and Stan James acquired by Unibet, also bringing more jobs to Gibraltar.”
At the same time, some operators have reduced their staff numbers, this was not unusual and the overall trend in Gibraltar remained upwards, No.6 Convent Place said.
Other jurisdictions are seeing big losses in licensees and staff, it added.
“It is clear from our relationships with the industry that Gibraltar remains the premier and first choice jurisdiction for the biggest and best operators in this industry,” the government said.
The Government highlighted that it has licensed as many people in 2017 as it did in 2016 and most years before that.
“At present four operators licensed elsewhere in Europe are developing their applications to be licensed and located in Gibraltar,” the Government said, adding that for commercial reasons these companies cannot be named, but hundreds more jobs are in the pipeline.
“Whatever Brexit may produce for Gibraltar, Government will adapt its licensing and regulatory arrangements to ensure we remain the premier remote gambling jurisdiction.”
Paddy Power Betfair did not respond to questions from the Chronicle despite repeated attempts to contact the company.