UK Government Publishes No-Deal Brexit Guide for Gambling Industry

  • Guide contains eight-point checklist and advice for both operators and employees
  • Looks at practical information such as travel, hardware, copyright, intellectual property
  • Document unveiled as part of the UK government's no-deal Brexit planning
brexit roulette wheel
The UK government has offered operators and employees of the gambling industry a guide for a way forward in case of a no-deal Brexit. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

New checklist for operators

With fears of a no-deal Brexit only weeks away, the UK government has revealed an eight-point checklist to prepare the gambling industry ahead of October 31.

the authorities have issued specific advice for gambling operators and their staff

While talks are still ongoing, the authorities have issued specific advice for gambling operators and their staff in the case of the country leaving the European Union (EU) without a deal.

Employers’ and workers’ rights

The checklist presented by the UK government as a guide for gambling businesses provides practical tips for both employers and their staff. The following points cover work, travel, and settlement issues that could arise as a no-deal Brexit looms:

  • All employers should investigate whether any staff may need a visa or work permit when visiting countries within the EU, as visiting and work rights may change.
  • Any staff currently employed in the gambling sector should check whether they should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. This could make the difference when it comes to continuing their work in the country.
  • With regard to entering the EU, including accessing Spain from Gibraltar, new immigration rules may come into force. The government is asking both employers and staff to verify that they have the right paperwork before traveling.

Data challenges

The way in which people from the UK access personal data from across the European Union and European Economic Area (EEA) could also change with a no-deal Brexit. All contracts may need to be reviewed to ensure operators are both legal and compliant.

In terms of data protection for small-to-medium-sized companies, the UK government believes rules should stay the same and has maintained its commitment to protecting the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standard. After Brexit, this is then expected to become enshrined in UK law.

Accounting and legal requirements

Following a no-deal Brexit outcome, various accounting and reporting changes would need to be taken seriously. Gambling businesses have been warned to check requirements to make sure no breaches occur across EEA countries. Accounting companies based in the UK as public companies will need to use UK-adopted International Accounting Services (IAS) for any accounting period beginning November 1 or later.

Gambling businesses have been warned to check requirements to make sure no breaches occur

All companies who currently utilize EEA listings must adhere to rules that apply where the subsidiary is based, and their accounts must comply with the UK Companies Act 2006. This means that any UK issuers of shares or debt securities will no longer incur the audit committee framework as long as they only trade on EEA regulated markets. An Audit Directive requirement will still apply for those with a parent company incorporated in the UK.

UK-based companies will need to involve a UK-registered audit firm, and a UK-registered auditor should sign audit reports on behalf of those involved.

Digital services and copyright

The UK government has recommended that larger businesses providing digital services to the EU go through a representative. Without one, companies risk incurring fines if online security standards are not met. Plenty of advice is currently available online for businesses with a dot.eu domain name.

Any contracts for the provision of content currently licensed outside of the UK may need to be looked at again, as such businesses could require extra copyright permissions to continue offering their services.

Copyright law is evolving to protect intellectual property if the UK were to leave the EU without a deal. The government’s Intellectual Property (Copyright and Related Rights) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 has been introduced to preserve the effect of UK law by removing or correcting references to Member States, EEA, or EU in UK copyright legislation.

For gambling specifically, the government is advising operators to make sure that any hardware agreements can be imported where necessary.