About 500 employees are expected to be relocated to Malta from Gibraltar in the coming months after gambling giant Bet365 decided to move its hub here because of Brexit, Times of Malta is informed.

Bet365, one of the world’s leading online gambling groups, announced last month it would be moving to Malta, citing “the mitigation of the impact of Brexit” as the main reason. The Sunday Times of Malta had reported on the planned move a year ago.

The company also announced a “rationalisation” of its staff at its Gibraltar office “as the sports betting giant continues to move its operations to Malta”.

Sources said staff members were informed about a consultation process, with various jobs thought to be at risk in several areas of the company, including trading, VIP and customer support.

A Bet365 spokesman said the company had been building its presence in Malta following Brexit and it had become “increasingly challenging to efficiently run such multisite operations”.

“Therefore, to assist with business planning and in order to maintain operational effectiveness, we intend to enhance our Maltese operational hub and relocate certain functionality there,” the company said.

It has not yet said how many of its 500 employees in Gibraltar would be moving to Malta. However, Times of Malta is informed it intends to move all the staff complement to the island over the next six months.

“Obviously, not all employees, especially those who have families, will chose to come to Malta because some would not like to make that move. They will either have to leave their job or try to find an alternative in Gibraltar,” sources close to the company said.

We intend to enhance our Maltese hub

Although originally it was expected that Bet365 would start operating from a new office block being built by Fortel Ltd, the owners of the Fortina Hotel, it is not known yet whether the betting giant would stick to these plans. 

So far, the Fortina site, part of which is on former public land sold on condition of purely touristic purposes, is still far from being transformed into a new office block.

A spokesman for Bet365 did not reply whether the company still planned to move to the Tigné site or whether it was looking at other properties on the island. 

“We have no further comments to make at this stage,” he said.

The presence of Bet365 is expected to boost Malta’s profile as an international gambling hub.

The Bet365 group, owned by a British family, registers a revenue of about €1.5 billion annually and has about 23 million customers worldwide.